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The Works 



OF 



James Buchanan 

Comprising his Speeches, State Papers, 
and Private Correspondence 

Collected and Edited 
By 

John Bassett Moore 
Volume VIII 

1848-1853 






Philadelphia dff London 

J. B. Lippincott Company 



1909 



JUCKSCH 



Copyright, 1909 

Bv 

J. B. LippiNcoTT Company 









Printed by y. B. Lipptncott Company 
The fFasbington Square Press^ Philadelphia, U. S, A 



CONTENTS of VOLUME VIII 



1848. 

PAGE 

To Mr. Mason, March i i 

Requests sending of a naval force to protect American interests in Venezuela. 

To Colonel Fremont, March 2 2 

Acknowledges receipt of papers relating to claims arising from military operations in 

California. 

To THE Speaker of the House, March 3 2 

Transmits statement required under act regulating entry of passengers from ships. 

From Mr. Rush, March 5 3 

Explains privately events incident to recognition of Provisional Government of 

France. 

To Mr. Hempstead, March 7 4 

Replies respecting his commission as consul. 

Message of President Polk Relating to the Treaty of Peace with 

Mexico, March 7 5 

To the President, March 8 5 

Transmits papers, called for by Senate, relating to authority of Mr. Trist to draw on 
Treasury for sum authorized in peace settlement with Mexico. 

Message of President Polk on Mr. Trist's Despatches, March 8 6 

To Mr. Walker, March 15 6 

Requests certain papers relating to debt of United States to Mexico, stipulated in 
Article XII. of draft of treaty of peace. 

Message of President Polk Nominating a Commissioner to Mexico, 

March 18 7 

To Mr. Clifford, March 18 7 

Informs him of his appointment as associate commissioner to Mexico to exchange 
ratifications of treaty of peace. 

To Mr. Sevier, March 18 8 

Instructs him as to exchange of ratifications of treaty of peace with Mexico. 

To THE Mexican Minister of Foreign Relations, March 18 14 

Transmits copy of treaty of peace as amended by Senate, with letter of explanation. 

To THE President, March 20 22 

Transmits correspondence, called for by House, with certain U. S. officers in Mexico. 

To THE President, March 21 22 

Transmits correspondence, called for by House, relative to adoption of reciprocity 
with Great Britain. 

To THE President, March 22 23 

Transmits copy of despatch, called for by Senate, to U. S. Consul at Monterey. 

To Messrs. Sevier and Clifford, March 22 24 

Instructs them as to new treaty in case Mexico refuses to accept Senate's amend- 
ments. 

V 



I Q i ^-^ i Q 



vi THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN 

To Mr. Johnson, March 22 25 

Replies that Department has no evidence of any offer made by President Jackson to 
purchase port of San Francisco. 

To THE President, March 22 25 

Transmits correspondence, called for by Senate, relating to imprisonment of Lieut. 
Davis in Brazil. 

To Mr. Shields, March 22 26 

Instructs him as to course to be pursued amidst revolutionary conditions in Vene- 
zuela. 

To THE President, March 24 28 

Transmits copies of correspondence, called for by Senate, relating to postal arrange- 
ment with Great Britain. 

To Mr. Cameron, March 27 29 

Invites full inquiry by Senate into the suspicion that the Department tumished a 
copy of the Mexican treaty to the press. 

To Mr. Dickens, March 27 30 

Requests information respecting copies of the Mexican treaty printed and distributed. 

To M. Pageot, March 29 30 

Acknowledges notice of his resignation as minister from France. 

To Mr. Meek, March 30 31 

Transmits copy of letter of British charge respecting treatment of free negroes 
arriving in Alabama. 

To THE President, March 30 32 

Transmits copies of correspondence, called for by Senate, with Brazilian charge 

d'affaires. 

To Mr. Rush, March 31 32 

Sends him letter of credence from the President to the French Republic — Instructs 
him as to attitude toward the new government. 

To Mr. Bancroft, April i 38 

Acknowledges receipt of his views respecting causes and results of the revolution 

in France. 

To Mr. Ingersoll, April i 38 

Declines to grant him leave from his post in Russia, because of conditions in France. 

Message of President Polk on the Revolution in France, April 3. . . . 39 
To Mr. Mann, April 4 40 

Informs him that declaration of accession of Mecklenburg-Schwerin to Hanoverian 
treaty is before Senate. 

To Mr. Donelson, April 5 41 

Informs him of attitude toward revolution in France — Requests to be kept informed 
of what transpires in Prussia. 

To Mr. Stiles, April 5 41 

Informs him of attitude toward revolution in France — Requests to be kept informed 
of what transpires in Austria. 

To Mr. Martin, April 5 42 

Informs him of establishment of diplomatic mission to Papal States — Sends instruc- 
tions. 

To Mr. Leal, April 6 45 

Declines to grant extradition of Brazilian criminal in absence of treaty. 

To Mr. Rush, April 6 47 

Informs him that joint resolution passed Senate congratulating the French people 
upon success of French revolution. 



CONTENTS OF VOLUME VIII vii 

To THE Governors of New York and Vermont, April 7 47 

Transmits British remonstrance against impeding navigation between Missisquoi 
Bay and river Richelieu. 

To Mr. Carvallo, April 7 48 

Explains delay in answering memorial presented by Chile on claim of the 

"Macedonian." 

To Mr. Young, April 12 49 

Informs him of progress of application made to Great Britain to permit passage of 
government steamers from Great Lakes to Atlantic. 

To Mr. Smith, April 24 49 

Transmits papers relating to mission of an agent sent to St. Domingo. 

To Mr. Appleton, April 25 50 

Transmits his instructions as charg^ d'affaires to Bolivia. 

To Mr. Carvallo, April 27 51 

Informs him that claim of the "Macedonian" against Chile has been referred to 
Solicitor of Treasury for report. 

To Mr. Cazenove, April 27 52 

Appoints time for exchange of ratifications of convention with Swiss Confederation. 

To Mr. Gillett, April 27 52 

Transmits papers on claim of the "Macedonian" against Chile, with request for an 

opinion. 

To Mr. Rush, April 29 53 

Instructs him to urge modification of the French restrictions on tobacco trade. 

Message of President Polk on Yucatan, April 29 54 

To Mr. Walker, May i 56 

Transmits copy of note from Great Britain granting permission for passage of govern- 
ment steamers from Great Lakes to Atlantic. 

To Mr. Hilliard, May 3 S6 

Answers interrogatories as to attitude assumed toward Yucatan. 

To THE President, May 5 59 

Transmits correspondence, called for by Senate, with commissioner from Yucatan. 

To Mr. Everett, May 6 60 

Informs him of inability to comply with request regarding inscription on monument 
to Alexander H. Everett. 

To Mr. Tod, May 8 60 

Instructs him as to claims against Brazil. 

Message of President Polk on a Treaty v^^ith Austria, May 9 61 

To Mr. Campbell, May 11 61 

Instructs him as to case of a freebom American alleged to be held as a slave in Cuba. 

To THE President of the Senate, May 11 62 

Transmits papers, called for by Senate, on claim of the brig "Douglass " against Great 

Britain. 

To Mr. Sullivan et Al., May 11 64 

Informs them of instructions to minister to France respecting modification of French 
restrictions on tobacco trade. 

To Mr. Livingston, May 13 64 

Instructs him as to mission to Ecuador and claims against that government. 

To Mr. Wells, May 16 69 

Instructs him to assist in recovering proceeds from sale of cargo of American brig 
"Caroline," condemned in Brazil at instance of her master. 



viii THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN 

To M. BouRBOULON, May i8 70 

Transmits report as to seizure by American squadron of a French ship near 

Vera Cruz, 

To Mr. Mann, May 29 70 

Commends his success in promoting commerce and navigation with Germany. 

To Mr. Mann, May 29 71 

Instructs him as to exchange of ratifications of declaration of accession of Mecklen- 
burg-Schwerin to the Hanoverian treaty. 

To Mr. Ingersoll, May 31 '^2, 

Urges legislation to ensure extradition under treaty of 1842 with Great Britain. 

To THE President, May 31 74 . 

Transmits translation of note, called for by Senate, from commissioner from Yucatan. 

To Mr. Appleton, June i 74 

Instructs him as to mission to Bolivia. 

To Mr. Hise, June 3 78 

Instructs him as to mission to Guatemala and other states of Central America. 

To Mr. Bille, June 6 84 

Acknowledges notice of blockade of certain ports in Baltic by Danish fleet. 

To Mrs, Madison, June 8 85 

Transmits receipt for unpublished MSS. of James Madison. 

To THE President, June 8 85 

Transmits correspondence, called for by Senate, with minister to France since French 

revolution. 

Certificate of the Delivery of the Madison Papfjrs to the Secretary 

OF State, June 10 86 

To Mr, Meredith, June 12 87 

Offers to purchase "the Wheatlands." 

To Mr. Flenniken, June 17 87 

Transmits commission of consul to Elsinore — Expresses appreciation of treatment 
of American vessels during Danish blockade. 

To Mr. Ingersoll, June 17 88 

Informs him of appointment of his successor as minister to Russia. 

To Mr. Saunders, June 17 89 

Instructs him to endeavor to obtain reduction of duty on American flour imported 

into Cuba. 

To Mr. Saunders, June 17 90 

Transmits, with instructions, full power to purchase Cuba from Spain — Explains 
American attitude toward fate of Cuba. 

To Mr, Vinton, June 19 102 

Recommends legislation to establish position of examiner of claims in State Depart- 
ment, 

To Mr, Williams, June 21 104 

Refuses to present claim for American fishing schooner seized in Bay of Fundy by 
British revenue cutter. 

To Mr. Mason, June 23 104 

Transmits correspondence as to protection of Americans in Hayti. 

To Mr, Rantoul, June 23 105 

Instructs him to enforce neutrality laws against any expedition to aid uprising in 

Venezuela. 



CONTENTS OF VOLUME VIII ix 

To Mr. Palfrey, June 24 106 

Informs him of use made of Captain Ingraham's journal in substantiating claim to 

Oregon. 

To U. S. Consuls, June 26 107 

Commends Mr. Mann to them in his mission to collect information concerning 

emigration. 

To Mr. Grinnell, June 26 107 

Informs him as to claim against Peru, arising from seizure of American ship "Wash- 
ington." 

To Mr. Hopkins, June 27 108 

Approves his protest in regard to treatment of masters of American vessels in Portu- 
guese ports. 

To Mr. Vinton, June 27 109 

Transmits documents in claim of Maine and Massachusetts against United States 
under treaty of 1842 with Great Britain. 

To Mr. Ellsworth, June 29 109 

Instructs him as to commercial relations with Sweden and Norway. 

To Mr. Crampton, June 30 110 

Informs him bill has passed House to secure execution of extradition treaties. 

To Mr. McKay, July i iii 

Informs him of payment of certain claims against Texas. 

To Mr. Parker, July i 112 

Approves intervention in behalf of two Italian bishops and a Spanish missionary — 
Informs him of course taken to enforce Chinese treaty obligations. 

To Mr. Stiles, July 6 113 

Declines to authorize employment of a person to procure information in Austria. 

Message of President Polk on a Treaty of Peace with Mexico, July 6 114 
To Mr. Martin, July 7 119 

Authorizes communication to Papal Government of American intervention in behalf 
of two Italian bishops and a Spanish missionary in China. 

To Mr. Saunders, July 7 120 

Instructs him to make a certain change in instructions as to proposed purchase of 
Cuba from Spain. 

To Mr. Walker, July 7 120 

Transmits copy of letter to General Butler in relation to peace negotiations with 

Mexico. 

To Mr. Westcott, July 7 121 

Refuses to give passport to a person not a citizen 

To Miss Lane, July 8 121 

Writes of personal matters. 

To Mr. Grinnell, July 11 122 

Expresses views on liability of Government to citizens for acts of officers. 

To the President, July 17 123 

Transmits information, called for by House, relating to New Mexico and California. 

To Mr. Vaux et Al., July 17 126 

Declines to transmit proceedings of a public meeting for presentation to Pope by 
American chargd d'affaires. 

To Mr. Dodge, July 18 127 

Expresses unofficial opinion that laws of Wisconsin Territory remain in force over 
country not included within boundaries of Wisconsin State. 



X THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN 

To M. BouRBOULON, July 19 128 

Acknowledges French decree in reply to resolution of Congress on revolution in 

France. 

To Mr. Mangum, July 19 128 

Urges appropriation to pay the "Amistad" claim of Spain against United States. 

To Mr. Bidlack, July 20 129 

Transmits copies of new treaty with New Granada. 

To Mr. Hutter, July 22 129 

Declines to indicate his choice among certain Democratic candidates for nomina- 
tion for governor of Pennsylvania. 

To Mr. Donelson, July 24 130 

Instructs him to recognize provisional government of new German Confederation. 

To THE President, July 24 131 

Transmits copies of papers relating to claim against Portugal arising from seizure of 
American ship "Miles." 

Message of President Polk on New Mexico and California, July 24. . 132 
To Mr. Carvallo, July 25 137 

Authorizes him to propose a convention for settlement of American claims against 

Chile. 

To Mr. Campbell, July 26 138 

Advises him as to status of naturalized American citizens natives of Cuba and domi- 
ciled there. 

To Mr. Campbell, July 27 139 

Commends him for interposition to liberate a freebom American held as a slave in 

Cuba. 

To THE Chevalier Martuscelli, July 27 140 

Informs him that Government has not recognized independence of Sicily. 

To Mr. Bancroft, July 28 140 

Instructs him to continue his efforts to secure repeal of British navigation laws. 

To Mr. Mason, July 28 141 

Transmits information relating to privilege granted by Sardinia for a naval depot at 

Spezzia. 

To Mr. Ray et Al., July 28 142 

Thanks them for their appreciation of action taken by Department for liberation of 
freebom American held as a slave in Cuba. 

Message of President Polk on a Treaty with Prussia, July 28 142 

Message of President Polk on the Instructions to Messrs. Sevier 

AND Clifford, July 28 145 

To Mr. Hopkins, July 29 145 

Informs him of Senate's call for papers relating to claim against Portugal arising 
from seizure of ship "Miles." 

To Mr. Niles, July 29 146 

Acknowledges despatches relating to privilege granted by Sardinia for naval depot 

at Spezzia. 

To Mr. Saunders, July 29 147 

Expresses opinion that contingent fund cannot be applied toward cemetery at 

Barcelona. 

To THE President, July 31 148 

Transmits papers, called for by Senate, as to rights of Hudson Bay and Puget Sound 
Land Company in Oregon, 



CONTENTS OF VOLUME VIII xi 

To Mr. Walker, July 31 148 

Transmits despatch from commissioner to Mexico relative to a payment to Mexico. 

To Mr. Butler, August 2 149 

Inquires as to probable date of decision on extradition of Metzger by France. 

To Miss Lane, August 2 149 

Informs her of inability to accompany her on a tour. 

To Mr. Donelson, August 3 1 50 

Instructs him as to convention of extradition with Prussia. 

To the Senate, August 3 151 

Transmits joint report, called for by Senate, of commissioners under treaty of 1842 
with Great Britain. 

To A. Lincoln et Al., August 5 152 

Replies that Department has no copy of convention between SantaJAnna and Texas 
mentioned by President Jackson. 

To Mr. Donelson, August 7. 152 

Informs him of his nomination as minister to federal government of Germany. 

To Mr. Clifford, August 7 154 

Informs him of his appointment as minister to Mexico — Instructs him as to refusal 
to furnish Mexico with United States troops to be employed against Indians. 

To Mr. Shields, August 7 157 

Instructs him as to charge made against him by Venezuelan Minister of Foreign 
Affairs — British attitude toward United States as to Mexico and the Mosquito 
Coast. 

To THE Venezuelan Minister for Foreign Affairs, August 7 159 

Informs him of steps taken to prevent an unneutral expedition against Venezuela — 
Discusses his charge against American charge d'affaires, Mr. Shields. 

To Mr. Abell, August 8 161 

Informs him as to payment of claim against Chile for detention of American brig 

"Warrior." 

From Mr. Rush, August 8 161 

Explains his refusal to deliver resolutions of Democratic convention congratulating 
French Assembly. 

To THE House of Representatives, August 12 163 

Transmits documents, called for by House, in relation to claim of Leggett against 

Mexico. 

To Mr. Clifford, August 15 163 

Advises him as to tariff on articles imported previously to restoration of Mexican 

custom houses. 

To Mr. Donelson, August 15 167 

Instructs him as to mission to federal government of Germany. 

To Mr. Bidlack, August 16 170 

Instructs him to apply to New Granada for its share of indemnification due on the 
Danels claim against Colombia. 

To Mr. Shields, August 16 170 

Instructs him as to payments upon the Danels claim against Venezuela. 

To Mr. Butler, August 16 171 

Urges that extradition proceedings against Metzger by France be carried to U. S. 
Supreme Court. 

To Mr. Rush, August 18 172 

Transmits President's answer to President of French Republic. 



xii THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN 

To Mr. Clifford, August i8 172 

Informs him of failure of Congress to establish boundary and claims commissions 
stipulated for in treaty with Mexico. 

To General Lane, August 18 174 

Transmits his commission as governor of Oregon Territory. 

To Mr. Crampton, August 19 174 

Requests from British Government privilege of transferring two schooners from the 
Atlantic to the Great Lakes. 

To Mr. Crampton, August 19 175 

Denies that the boundary description in the peace treaty with Mexico invades the 
"three-mile limit" rule. 

To Mr. Causten, August 19 176 

Informs 'him as to documents in a claim which arose against Texas before its 

admission. 

To Mr. Davis, August 21 176 

Transmits copy of act relating to judicial powers of ministers and consuls in China 

and Turkey. 
To Mr. Marcy, August 21 177 

Transmits correspondence in relation to restoration of Mexican custom houses. 

To Mr. Sanford, August 21 178 

Explains his Berks County letter — Slavery in Territoriesr— Missouri Compromise. 

To Miss Lane, August 22 179 

Writes of personal matters. 

To Mr. Pleasonton, August 23 180 

Requests information on claim of Joseph de la Francia against United States. 

To Mr. Bille, August 24 181 

Regrets delay in peace negotiations between Denmark and Prussia. 

To Mr. Ten Eyck, August 28 181 

Instructs him in regard to relations with Hawaii — Explains policy as to presentation 
of claims of American citizens against foreign governments. 

To Mr. Crampton, August 29 190 

Transmits copy of act relating to judicial powers of ministers and consuls in China 

and Turkey. 

To Mr. Hempstead, August 29 191 

Acknowledges despatch as to consular matters at Belize. 

To Mr. Sprague, August 29 191 

Advises him that acceptance by him of Austrian consulship general at Gibraltar 
would be in violation of Constitution, 

To Mr. Crampton, August 30 192 

Transmits copy of act for giving effect to extradition treaties. 

To Mr. Durant et Al., August 30 192 

Instructs them to enforce neutrality laws in connection with reported expedition 
against Mexico. 

To Mr. Stiles, August 31 195 

Approves his course in exposing political adventurers in Austria. 

To Mr. Rowan, August 31 196 

Transmits note expounding our policy as regards recognition of foreign governments, 
for his guidance in Italy. 

To Mr. Bille, August 31 196 

Informs him of publication of notice of Danish blockade. 



CONTENTS OF VOLUME VIII xiii 

To Major Graham, August 31 197 

Directs him to commence work of restoring maps showing boundary under treaty 
of 1842 with Great Britain. 

To Mr. Anderson, August 31 198 

Advises him as to law governing appointment of consul to port of Hamilton. 

To United States Consuls, September i 198 

Instructs them as to expenditures for relief of destitute seamen. 

To Mr. Davis, September i 201 

Advises him as to exercise of powers conferred by act relating to extraterritorial 
jurisdiction in China. 

To Mr. Hamilton, September 25 201 

Informs him of acceptability of Montevidean proposition for payment of a claim. 

To W. M. Meredith, September 25 202 

Accepts proposition for purchase of Wheatland. 

To Mr. Hamilton, September 26. 202 

Approves his refusal to subscribe to war fund solicited by government of Montevideo. 

To Mr. Bancroft, September 27 203 

Instructs him to inquire into case of alleged illegal imprisonment of an American 

in Dublin. 

To Mr. Hyatt, September 27 205 

Instructs him as to a present for Emperor of Morocco. 

To Mr. Patton, September 27 206 

Informs him that treaties permitting aliens to acquire real estate embrace States as 
well as Territories. 

To Mr. Flenniken, September 30 206 

Comments upon peace negotiations between Denmark and Prussia. 

To Mr. Fisher, September 30 207 

Informs him that President has no power to grant our public lands to inhabitants 
of Guadeloupe who wish to emigrate. 

From President Polk, September 30 208 

Requests statement of all views relating to annexation of Texas which Mr. Buchanan 
may have heard him express. 

To Mr. Hopkins, October 2 209 

Advises him in relation to commerce with Portugal — Duties. 

To Mr. Marcy, October 2 210 

Refers to'him claims of Spanish subjects against United States arising during Mexican 

War. 

To Mr. Voorhies, October 7 211 

Communicates President's views as to California pending establishment of territorial 

government. 

To Mr. Clifford, October 10 216 

Instructs him as to various matters connected with Mexico. 

To Mr. Harris, October 10 217 

Instructs him as to claims against Argentine Republic. 

To Mr. Dabelsteen, October 11 218 

Transmits to him exequatur as Mexican vice-consul at New Orleans. 

To Mr. Davezac, October 12 219 

Instructs him as to claim against Dutch Government. 



xiv THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN 

To Mr. Flenniken, October 14 220 

Instructs him as to negotiations for removal of Danish Sound dues. 

To Mr. Bille, October 16 225 

Informs him that Executive has no power to interfere in judicial proceedings against a 

Danish vessel. 

To Mr. Bancroft, October 23 226 

Informs him of request of Costa Rica for British protectorate — Instructs him that 
a naturalized American cannot commit treason against Great Britain. 

To Mr. Macauley, October 25 227 

Instructs him as to change of his mission from consul to Tripoli to consul-general 

to Egypt. 

To Mr. Bancroft, October 28 230 

Corrects instruction as to an American committing treason against Great Britain. 

To Mr. Donelson, October 30 232 

Instructs him as to request of Germanic Confederation that a U. S. naval officer be 
selected to enter and assist its naval service. 

To Mr. Randolph, October 30 234 

Acknowledges receipt of certain Jefferson MSS. 

To Mr. Marston, October 31 234 

Disapproves his course in recognizing independence of Sicily. 

To Mr. Campbell, November i 236 

Approves his course in case of a person arrested on board an American bark in Cuba. 

To Mr. Donelson, November 6 237 

Cautions him not to negotiate a commercial treaty with Germanic Confederation 
till such a government is established. 

To Mr. Verplanck, November 6 240 

Assures him of Department's aid in exposing frauds in connection with emigration 
to United States. 

To President Polk, November 9 240 

Sets forth his understanding of attitude of President as to annexation of Texas. 

To Mr. Graham, November 11 242 

Instructs him as to registration of American vessel sold in a foreign port. 

To Mr. Robinson, November 15 243 

Informs him as to case of American seamen arrested in Dublin for complicity in 

Irish rebellion. 

To Mr. Walker, November 17 245 

Informs him of grant by British Government of permission to transfer two schooners 
from Atlantic to Great Lakes. 

To Mr. Carr, November 18 245 

Narrates events leading to acceptance of his resignation as consul to Tangier. 

To Mr. Staples, November 18 251 

Regrets his becoming involved in controversy with local authorities at Havre as to his 

jurisdiction. 

To Governor Johnson, November 18 253 

Informs him that crime committed by an army officer in Mexico cannot be punished 
in United States. 

To Mr. Donelson, November 20 254 

Transmits communication from President to Prussian Emperor in reply to announce- 
ment of recall of Baron von Gerolt. 



CONTENTS OF VOLUME VIII xv 

To W. M. Meredith, November 21 254 

Informs him that if he regrets parting with Wheatland the sale can be rescinded. 

To Senor de la Rosa, November 28 255 

Makes appointment for receiving his credentials as Mexican minister. 

To Mr. Carrol, November 30 256 

Advises him as to duty of commercial agent at Port Louis in securing arrest of a 

seaman. 

To Senor de la Rosa, November 30 256 

Makes appointment for presenting his credentials as Mexican minister. 

To Mr. Winthrop, December 2 257 

Transmits statements of disbursements of Department of State. 

President Polk's Annual Message, December 5 258 

To Mr. Campbell, December 11 259 

Instructs him as to rights, under treaty of 1795 with Spain, of an American arrested 

in Cuba. 

To Mr. Grinnell, December 11 261 

Transmits correspondence in relation to the "Miles" claim against Portugal. 

To THE Speaker of the House, December 12 261 

Transmits annual statistics on immigration. 

To M. Poussin, December 13 262 

Expresses regret at conduct of an army officer toward a French citizen in Mexico 

City. 

To Mr. Campbell, December 14 263 

Acknowledges letter announcing release of an American imprisoned in Cuba. 

To Mr. Shields, December 15 263 

Grants request for leave of absence from Caracas. 

To Mr. Bancroft, December 18 264 

Instructs him to protest against orders of Irish Government to arrest all "returned 
emigrants" from America. 

To THE Speaker of the House, December 18 266 

Transmits annual statistical report as to seamen registered in U. S. ports. 

To Mr. Donelson, December 18 267 

Informs him of designation of naval officer to aid in organization of German navy. 

To Mr. Clifford, December 22 268 

Instructs him as to execution of treaty of peace with Mexico — Payment of customs 
money — Boundary commission. 

To the President, December 27 270 

Transmits papers, called for by House, in relation to Americans arrested in Ireland. 

To Mr. Mann, December 27 270 

Answers inquiry as to payments under Spanish convention of 1834 to indemnify 
American claimants. 

To M. Poussin, December 28 271 

Informs him of recognition of consular agent at Monterey, Upper California. 

1849. 

Message of President Polk on a Postal Convention w^ith Great 
Britain, January 4 272 



^ 



xvi THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN 

To Mr. Cass, January 6 272 

Transmits his commission as charge d'affaires to Papal States. 

To Mr. Slemons, January 6 272 

Instructs him as to reshipment of export goods to Matamoros — Goods imported 
previously to restoration of Mexican custom houses. 

To Mr. Bancroft, January 8 274 

Transmits ratification of postal convention, and power, with Mr. Rush, to negotiate 
with France on same subject. 

To Mr. Donelson, January 8 275 

Informs him Baron Roenne has not yet presented himself as German minister — 
Advises him in relation to arrest of an American seaman at Bremerhaven. 

To Mr. Dyer, January 8 276 

Advises him as to right of travellers in Mexico to bear arms for self-defence. 

To Mr. Rush, January 8 277 

Advises him that power has been sent to Mr. Bancroft to negotiate jointly with him 
for postal arrangement with France. 

To Miss Lane, January 8 278 

Writes of personal matters. 

To Mr. Bancroft, January 9 279 

Informs him that publication of despatches relating to postal convention with Great 
Britain was not authorized. 

To Mr. Crampton, January 9 280 

Hopes new territorial government will remove difficulties between American and 
British citizens in Oregon. 

To Mr. Winthrop, January 10 281 

Transmits report on clerks employed in Department of State. , 

To Mr. Walker, January 11 282 

Informs him in regard to discriminating tonnage duties in ports of Uruguay. 

To Mr. Marcy, January 11 282 

Requests information concerning claims of Spain arising against United States 
during Mexican War. 

To Mr. Tod, January 12 283 

Directs him to express acknowledgments for conduct of Brazilian naval officers in 
rescue of crew of American vessel. 

To Senor de la Rosa, January 13 284 

Informs him as to payments due under treaty of peace with Mexico. 

To Mr. Loughead, January 16 285 

Advises him as to national character of American vessels purchased by British 

subjects. 

To M. PoussiN, January 17 286 

Discusses claim of France arising from capture of a French vessel, "La Jeune Nelly, " 
running a blockade. 

To Mr. Marcy, January 17 288 

Transmits papers upon claims of Spain against United States, arising during Mexican 

War. 
To Mr. Durant, January 18 289 

Requests him to report as to appeal of case of French blockade-runner, "La Jeune 

Nelly. " 

To Majors Graham and Emory, January 19 290 

Instructs them in relation to running boundary line between United States and Mexico. 



CONTENTS OF VOLUME VIII xvii 

To Mr. Hopkins, January 22 291 

Informs him of decision not to make Lisbon the depot of the Mediterranean squadron. 

To Mr. Jordan, January 23 291 

Advises him as to law governing an arrest made aboard an American vessel by 
British authorities. 

To Mr. Weller, January 24 293 

Instructs him on his duties as boundary commissioner under treaty with Mexico. 

To THE President, January 25 295 

Transmits papers, called for by Senate, relating to conduct of Commodore Storer. 

To Baron Roenne, January 26 295 

Makes appointment for his reception as minister of German Empire. 

To Mr. Murphy, January 26 296 

Instructs him to report respecting arrest of McManus, made aboard an American 
vessel by British authorities. 

To Mr. Hopkins, January 31 297 

Instructs him as to claim against Portugal arising from alleged destruction of schooner 

"Col. Blum." 

To Mr. Marcy, January 31 298 

Transmits papers on claims of Spain against United States, arising during Mexican 

War. 

To THE President, February i 298 

Transmits report on claim of J. B. Emerson, arising from alleged use of an invention. 

To Senor Calderon de la Barca, February i 299 

Acknowledges note on arrest of an American in Cuba — Explains delay of report on 
claims arising during Mexican War. 

To Mr. McClelland, February i 300 

Advises him as to claims against Mexico arranged for in treaty of peace. 

Memorandum of a Conference with the British Charge d'affaires 

as to Navigation of the Columbia River, February 2 300 

To Mr. Stiles, February 2 302 

Approves his conduct in acting as intermediary for communication between Hungary 

and Austria. 

To THE Chevalier Hulsemann, February 6 303 

Acknowledges note announcing abdication of Emperor Ferdinand I. in favor of 
Archduke Francis Joseph. 

To Mr. Breedlove, February 6 304 

Informs him as to claim against Venezuela for brig "Sarah Wilson." 

To Mr. Richards et Al., February 6 3^4 

Informs them as to claim against Portugal arising from alleged destruction of schooner 

"Col. Blum." 

To the President, February 8 3^5 

Transmits papers, called for by House, relating to treaty of peace with Mexico. 

Message of President Polk on the Treaty of Peace with Mexico, 

February 8 305 

To Mr. Toucey, February 8 313 

Requests opinion on question of diplomatic privilege raised in respect to attachd 
of French Legation. 

To THE President, February 9 3^3 

Transmits documents, called for by Senate, relative to ratification of treaty of peace 

with Mexico. 



xviii THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN 

To Mr. Crampton, February 9 314 

Sets forth attitude of United States on reciprocity with Great Britain in commerce 
and navigation. 

To Mr. Hyatt, February 9 316 

Instructs him in relation to piracies committed by Barbary vessels. 

From Mr. de la Rosa, February 10 318 

Requests assurances respecting interpretation to be given to protocol to treaty of 
peace with Mexico. 

To Mr. Bancroft, February 12 319 

Reiterates instructions to protest against orders of Irish Government to arrest 
"returned emigrants" from America. 

To Mr. Hamilton, February 13 321 

Commends his efforts to protect American commercial interests in Montevideo. 
To Mr. Weller, February 13 322 

Instructs him on his duties as boundary commissioner under treaty with Mexico. 

From Mr. de la Rosa, February 14 326 

Requests answer to his note respecting interpretation to be given to protocol to 
treaty of peace with Mexico. 

To M. PoussiN, February 15 327 

Transmits opinion of Attorney General on question of diplomatic privilege raised in 
respect to attache of French Legation. 

To Mr. de la Rosa, February 15 328 

Replies to his note respecting interpretation to be given to protocol to treaty of 
peace with Mexico — Explanations from the President concerning debates in 
Congress. 

To Mr. Cass, February 16 332 

Transmits his letter of credence as charge d'affaires to Papal States, with instruc- 
tions — Recognition of revolutionary governments. 

To Mr. Fames, February 16 33;^ 

Instructs him as to negotiation of treaty with Hawaii. 

To Mr. Bancroft, February 17 337 

Approves his attitude on expatriation — Reiterates instructions to protest against 
orders of Irish Government to arrest "returned emigrants" from America. 

To Mr. Crampton, February 17 338 

Answers complaint of British ship-owners against law regulating the overcrowding 
of passengers on ships coming to America. 

To Mr. Clifford, February 17 340 

Transmits correspondence with Mexican minister and President's message as to 
interpretation to be given to protocol to peace treaty with Mexico. 

To Mr. Davis, February 17 341 

Approves course in regard to claim against China — Hoisting American flag at con- 
sulate — Sea letters for foreign vessels purchased by Americans in China. 

To Mr. Donelson, February 17 342 

Informs him of reception of Baron Roenne as minister of German Empire — Uncer- 
tainty of establishment of German Empire. 

To Mr. Jordan, February 20 343 

Acknowledges information as to arrest of McManus aboard an American vessel by 
British authorities. 

To Mr. Murphy, February 20 343 

Requests information as to arrest of McManus aboard an American vessel by British 

authorities. 



CONTENTS OF VOLUME VIII xix 

To THE President, February 20 344 

Transmits correspondence, called for by Senate, as to arrest of an American in Cuba. 

To Mr. Crampton, February 22 345 

Transmits correspondence as to impediments to navigation of waters connecting 
Missisquoi Bay with the Richelieu. 

To M. Poussin, February 23 345 

Informs him that district attorney will institute proceedings to vindicate diplomatic 
privileges of attache of French Legation. 

To THE President, February 26 346 

Transmits list of commercial treaties and proclamations, called for by Senate. 

To Mr. Carvallo, February 27 347 

Acknowledges notice of intention to terminate treaty of 1832 with Chile. 
To Mr. Loughead, February 27 347 

Advises him as to passports for transit of a party through Mexico. 

To M. Poussin, February 28 348 

Transmits report on claims presented by France, growing out of military occupation 

of Mexico. 

To THE President, March i 349 

Transmits correspondence on African slave-trade with Brazil, 

To Mr. Gaines, March i 349 

Informs him that custom of making presents to Barbary rulers has been discontinued. 

To Mr. Clifford, March 2 350 

Discusses interpretation to be given to protocol to treaty of peace with Mexico. 

To THE President, March 2 354 

Transmits statements, called for by House, in relation to consular service. 

To Mr. Parker et Al., March 12 355 

Expresses regret that he cannot accept invitation to a public dinner to be given by 
political friends at Washington. 

To Mr. Clayton, April 9 357 

Comments on changes among employees of Department of State. 

From Mr. Clayton, April 14 359 

Indulges in pleasantries on Mr. Buchanan's conduct of foreign relations. 

To Mr. Clayton, April 17 360 

Replies to pleasantries of Mr. Clayton — Views as to acquisition of Cuba. 

To Mr. Toucey, June i 362 

Comments on administration of President Taylor — Democratic party in Pennsylvania. 

To Mr. Hoover, July 4 3^3 

Refutes the "drop of blood lie" — Oration of July 4- 18x5. 

From Mr. Blair, November 22 365 

Criticises President Polk's conduct in appointing Whig commanders of American 
forces in war with Mexico. 

To Mr. Blair, November 27 3^7 

Defends Mr. Polk's conduct in appointing Whig commanders in war with Mexico. 

1850. 

To W. R. King, March 6 369 

Asks advice as to letter on the slavery question which he may publish. 

To Mr. King, March 15 370 

Requests that a remark in the Senate concerning him and the slavery question be 
branded as false. 



XX THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN 

From Mr. Davis, March 15 371 

Refers to slavery resolutions adopted at a Lancaster meeting in 1820 — Requests 
his position on Missouri Compromise. 

To Mr. Davis, March 16 372 

Explains his attitude on Missouri Compromise. 

From Mr. King, March 20 374 ^ 

Informs him of steps to contradict misrepresentation of Buchanan's views on slavery 
— Gives his opinion of Simon Cameron. 

To Mr. King, March 20 374 

Explains his position on slavery question. 

To Mr. Grund, April 13 2,^] 

Sets forth two occasions during Polk's administration when Monroe Doctrine was 

asserted. 

From Mr. King, May 8 381 

Supports Clayton- Bulwer treaty — Deprecates acquisition of more territory — Admis- 
sion of California. 

To Mr. King, May 13 383 

Believes that Clayton- Bulwer treaty invades Monroe Doctrine — Favors extension 
of Missouri Compromise to California. 

To Mr. Foote, May 31 385 

Argues for extension of the Missouri Compromise — Foresees strife in the Territories 
if question of slavery is left to settlers. 

To Miss Lane, August 4 388 

Writes of personal matters. 

To Miss Lane, October 12 388 

Writes of personal matters. 

Letter to a Public Meeting, November 19 390 

Urges preservation of the Union — Discusses slavery question. 
185I. 

Address at Philadelphia on the Establishment of a Line of Steam- 
ships Between Philadelphia and Liverpool, January 11 405 

To Miss Lane, January 17 411 

Writes of personal matters. 

To Miss Watterston, January 20 412 

Writes of life at Wheatland. 

To Miss Lane, April 7 414 

Writes of personal matters. 

To THE Central Southern Rights Association of Virginia, April 10. . 414 

Discusses State rights. 

From Mr. Kidder, May 11 416 

Proffers interposition to bring about friendship between Mr. Buchanan and Mr. 

Cameron. 

To Mr. Kidder, May 16 417 

Does not believe the proffered interposition between him and Mr. Cameron could 
restore friendly relations. 

To Miss Watterston, July 16 418 

Comments on suggestion of nomination of Mr. Buchanan and Colonel King. 

To Mr. Hemphill, July 18 419 

Believes party men should go on the State judicial ticket — Opposed to nomination 
of Judge Gibson. 



CONTENTS OF VOLUME VIII xxi 

To Mr. Vansant et Al., September 30 421 

Regrets inability to accept invitation to deliver an address before the Maryland 
Institute for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts. 

To Miss Lane, November 4 422 

Writes of personal matters. 

To Miss Lane, November 8 424 

Informs her of death of Mr. Gonder. 

To Miss Watterston, November 17 424 

Comments upon late State elections. 

To Mr. Johnson, December 3 425 

Comments upon candidates for Presidential nomination. 

To Miss Lane, December 12 427 

Writes that he adheres to his opinion concerning Presidency. 

To Mr. Johnson, December 22 428 

Expresses his views on candidates for Presidential nomination. 

To Colonel Fall, December 24 431 

Discusses State rights. 
1852. 

To Mr. Nelson et Al., February 3 433 

Outlines issues for Presidential campaign. 

To Mr. Wise, February 4 436 

Expresses opinion of his prospects for Presidential nomination. 

To Mr. Leake et Al., February 12 437 

Believes the Missouri Compromise a "finality." 

To Miss Lane, February 24 439 

Writes of personal matters. 

To Miss Lane, March 13 440 

Writes of personal matters. 

To Mr. Wise, March 18 44i 

Comments on his candidacy for Presidential nomination. 

To Mr. Johnson, March 30 447 

Expresses views on strength in Pennsylvania of candidates for Presidential nomina- 
tion. 

To Mr. Johnson, May 20 45o 

Expresses opinion on nomination of Lewis Cass for Presidency. 

From Mr. King, May 20 45i 

Informs Mr. Buchanan of his prospects of nomination — Advises him to keep away 
from Washington. 

To General Porter, June 4 45i 

Comments upon failure of his candidacy for Presidential nomination — Declines to 
be considered for Vice-Presidential nomination. 

From Mr. Pierce, June 15 452 

Comments on nomination for Presidency. 

To Mr. Pierce, June 21 453 

Congratulates him and assures him support. 

To Mr. Johnson, June 24 454 

Comments upon prospects of Presidential election in Pennsylvania. 



xxii THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN 

To Mr. Capen, June 26 456 

Comments upon failure of candidacy for Presidential nomination. 

To Miss Watterston, July 3 457 

Same subject. 

To Mr. Binns, July 26 458 

Same subject. 

To Mr. McKeever, July 26 459 

Makes observations on Presidential candidates. 

To Miss Lane, August 8 459 

Writes of personal matters. 

Speech on the Candidacy of General Scott, October 7 460 

To Miss Watterston, November 18 491 

Believes General Pierce will make an excellent President. 

From Mr. Pierce, December 7 492 

Requests Mr. Buchanan's advice on formation of Cabinet. 

To General Pierce, December 11 493 

States views on formation of Cabinet — Comments on foreign relations — Comments 
on certain Pennsylvania Democrats. 

From Mr. Pierce, December 14 499 

Thanks Mr. Buchanan for advice upon Cabinet making. 
1853. 

To Miss Lane, February 3 500 

Writes of personal matters. 

From Miss Lane, February 6 501 

Writes of personal matters. 

To Miss Lane, March 15 502 

States that mission to England has not been tendered. 

To Miss Lane, March 19 503 

Same subject. 
From President Pierce, March 30 504 

States that he will tender to Mr. Buchanan the mission to England. 

To President Pierce, April 2 505 

Informs him of time of departure, if mission to England is accepted. 

To Miss Lane, April 7 505 

States that he is uncertain as to acceptance of mission to England. 

To President Pierce, April 27 506 

Urges certain appointments to office — His appointment as minister not to be charged 
to Pennsylvania patronage. 

To Mr. Johnson, May 3 507 

Comments on tender of mission to England — Pennsylvania patronage. 

To Mr. M arcy. May 12 509 

Informs him of intention to visit Washington in reference to mission to England. 

To Miss Lane, May 24 509 

Informs her of time of departure for England. 

To President Pierce, June 7 510 

Acknowledges receipt of his appointment as minister to England — Explains reasons 
for declining the mission — Foreign relations with England. 







/ 



The Works 



OF 



James Buchanan 



TO MR. mason; 



Department of State, 

Washington, ist March, 1848. 
Hon. John Y. Mason, 

Secretary of the Navy. 
Sir: 

Enclosed is a copy of a despatch No. 49, dated February 
1st, 1848, from Benjamin G. Shields, Esq., Charge d' Affaires of 
the U. States at Caracas, to this Department. From this letter 
and from that of Mr. Shields No. 48, dated January 29th, 1848, 
to which your attention was invited yesterday, you will perceive 
that new disturbances have broken out in Venezuela, of such a 
character, in his opinion, as to threaten serious injury to the 
persons and property of American citizens in that republic, and to 
require the immediate presence there of a competent naval force 
for their protection. 

I have the honor, therefore, to request that you will direct 
one or more of our ships of war, of sufficient capacity for the 
purpose, to proceed to Venezuela at the earliest practicable period, 
and to render all necessary protection to our citizens and interests 
in that republic. 

I am, &c., 

James Buchanan. 



* MSS. Department of State, z'^ Domestic Letters, 381. 

1 



2 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO COLONEL FREMONT/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 2 March, 1848. 
Col. J. C- Fremont, 
Sir: 

I have received your note of yesterday, w^ith the original 
papers in the Spanish language, in relation to the Macnamara 
grant of land in Upper California, taken by you from the 
Government archives in Los Angeles whilst you were Governor 
of California, together with a copy of the depositions taken 
before the military committee of the Senate, in relation to claims 
growing out of military operations in California, &c. &c. 

These documents, so important for the Government, and 
bearing such conclusive testimony to the valuable services which 
you have rendered your country in that distant region, shall be 
carefully preserved in the archives of the Department. 

I am, &c. 

James Buchanan. 



TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, March 3, 1848. 
Sir: Agreeably to the act of Congress of March 2, 1819, 
regulating passenger ships and vessels, I have the honor to com- 
municate herewith tabular statements showing the number and 
designation of passengers who arrived in each collection district 
of the United States, during the year ending September 30, 1847, 
compiled from the returns made to this department by the col- 
lectors, in conformity with the provisions of said act. 

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 
To the Hon. Speaker of the House of Representatives. 



* MSS. Department of State, 36 Domestic Letters, 383. 
^H. Ex. Doc. 47, 30 Cong. i. Sess. i. 



1848] FROM MR. RUSH 3 

FROM MR. RUSH.^ 

Private. Paris March 5. 1848. 

My Dear Sir, 

My despatch No. 17, of yesterday, will apprize you of what I have done 
in the momentous events that have happened here, and I shall remain 
inexpressibly anxious until I know how it will be officially received at home. 

I'o have conferred with my colleagues of the diplomatic corps (Euro- 
pean) was out of the question. There was no time. That of itself would 
have prevented me. All were astounded. Not half of them were even to be 
found during the first shocks ; and, moreover, by as much as I was able to 
learn, all were plump and decided against doing any thing. After having 
made up my own mind to recognize, I went to Lord Normanby the English 
ambassador, as England was likely to be less backward at first than the other 
great powers, and imparted to him my intention. He was amazed. I ex- 
plained my grounds, showing how different they were from his, and all the 
others. He admitted this, to some extent ; but still was amazed, though 
quite civil. On Monday, the 28th of February, after I had gone through the 
public ceremony at the Hotel de Ville, I went to his House again to tell 
him of it, that he might know it for certain from me before it got into 
the newspapers, quickly as it did get into them. He was still under more 
or less amazement, and there the subject has ended with us. 

The immediate publication of my note to the new minister of Foreign 
affairs, as well as my address to the Provisional government, sufficiently 
mark their sense of them. 

I learn through a friend of Lamartine's, that as soon as he got my 
note he said, " Two good things had quickly happened for the Provisional 
government: the nuncio's letter, and Recognition by the American Minister; 
the one representing the head of the church, the other the head of Republi- 
canism in the world." 

I must humbly hope that my course will be approved by the President, 
yourself, and the cabinet. Should this prove to be [the] case, and my 
despatch of yesterday be sent to Congress, I cannot express to you how grate- 
ful it would be to me to have it accompanied by a sanctioning word, after all 
the objections I know to have been entertained by the diplomatic corps. To 
the new government here, such an early sanction going before Congress of 
what I had done, would doubtless also be acceptable. 

To all the Ministers and Charges from the South American governments 
who have come to me for counsel, I have said, recognize at once; and I 
have reason to believe that my course has governed nearly all of them, if 
not all. 

Both in my address of congratulation, and official note to Mr. Lamartine, 
whilst aiming to be sufficiently cordial, I deemed it right to be guarded — 
considering the responsibilities of my situation. 

I intended to send you by this conveyance a brief notice of some of the 
members of the Provisional Cabinet, less generally known than others; but 
give up the intention now, as I learn that changes may possibly occur. 

Of the Provisional government, Dupont de I'Eure is an old sterling 



^ Buchanan Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 



4 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

friend of constitutional monarchy, and companion of Lafayette, respected 
by every one, and now republican because constitutional monarchy has been 
found wanting. Ledru-Rollin is a lawyer, leader of the extreme radical 
party, Editor of the Reforme, boisterous, and said to be heavily in debt. 
Cremieux is a Jew lawyer, was of the dynastic opposition, now thought to 
be republican. Marie, a lawyer — republican. Garnier- Pages, Mayor of 
Paris, brother of the celebrated deputy of that name. He is republican. 
Arago and Lamartine are sufficiently known to fame, the first as the great 
Astronomer, the other as the historian, &c. 

I have taken all the pains I could to get this brief account of each, which 
is probably as correct as any attainable just now, as there are diversities. 

I have heard, on authority I deem perfectly good, that the names of 
the members of the Provisional government were arranged during the night 
of Wednesday the 23rd of February, at the office of "The National," by a 
political coterie who met there while the battle was raging in the streets. 
" The National " was the great opposition paper up to that time, and now leads 
for the new government. Marrast is Editor of it, now one of the Secretaries 
of the new government, and, in effect, a member of the Provisional govern- 
ment. He is an able man, Republican, and representing the principle of order 
with liberty. 

Should the government decide to send my despatch to Congress, I would 
be most grateful for some three or four copies, or even half a dozen, of the 
little sheet that will contain it when published, that I might be able to send 
one of them to Lord Normanby, and others, (as I might select,) to some 
other members of the European diplomacy here. 

I remain with great and cordial esteem and respect, dear Sir, 
Yours most faithfully, 

Richard Rush. 
Honorable James Buchanan, 
&c. &c. &c. 



TO MR. HEMPSTEAD/ 

Department of State, 

Washington Mar. 7th, 1848. 

Sir: Your letter of the 19th of January last, transmitting- 
your official Bond, has been received. 

In reply to your enquiries respecting your Commission I 
have to state, that, as you were informed in your letter of 
appointment, it was transmitted to the Legation of the U. States, 
with instructions to apply to the British Government for your 
Exequatur, which when obtained will be forwarded to you with 
your Commission. 



'MSS. Department of State, Despatches to Consuls, XII. 367; H. Ex. 
Doc. 75, 31 Cong. I Sess. 311-312. See Mr. Buchanan to Mr. Bancroft, 
May 21, 1847, supra. 



1848] TO THE PRESIDENT 5 

The agent of the Department has been instructed to furnish 
a Flag, Press, Seal, & the Arms of the U. States for the use of 
your Consulate. 

I am Sir &c. 

James Buchanan. 
Christopher Hempstead Esqr. 
U. S. C. Belize, Honduras. 



MESSAGE OF PRESIDENT POLK 

RELATING TO THE TREATY OF PEACE WITH MEXICO. ^ 

[March 7, 1848.] 
To THE Senate of the United States : 

I lay before the Senate a letter of the 12th February, 1848, from N. P. 
Trist, together with the authenticated map of the United Mexican States, 
and of the plan of the port of San Diego, referred to in the fifth article of 
the " treaty of peace, friendship, limits, and settlement between the United 
States of America and the Mexican Republic," which treaty was transmitted 
to the Senate with my message of the 22d ultimo. 

James K. Polk. 
Washington, March 7, 1848. 



TO THE PRESIDENT/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, March 8, 1848. 
Sir: The Secretary of State, to whom was referred the 
resolution of the Senate of this date, requesting the President 
" to inform the Senate of the terms of the authority given to 
Mr. Trist to draw for the three millions of dollars authorized 
by the Act of the 2d of March, 1847," I'^^s the honor to lay 
before the President the papers specified in the subjoined list, 
which contain all the information on the subject of the resolution 
that can be furnished by this Department. 
Respectfully submitted, 

James Buchanan. 
To the President of the United States. 



^ Senate Executive Journal, VIL 328. 

"This report was sent by the President to the Senate on the same day, 
and is printed with the message in S. Ex. Doc. 52, 30 Cong, i Sess. 106. 



6 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

MESSAGE OF PRESIDENT POLK 

ON MR. TRIST'S DESPATCHES. ^ 

[March 8, 1848.] 
To THE Senate of the United States : 

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of this date, requesting the 
President to communicate to that body, confidentially, any additional des- 
patches which may have been received from Mr. Trist, and especially those 
which are promised by him in his letter to Mr. Buchanan of the 2d of Feb- 
ruary last, if the same have been received, I have to state that all the 
despatches which have been received from Mr. Trist have been heretofore 
communicated to the Senate. 

James K. Polk. 
Washington, March 8, 1848. 



TO MR. WALKER. 



Department of State, 

Washington, March 15, 1848. 
Sir: You are aware that the Honorable Ambrose H. 
Sevier is about to proceed to Mexico, as commissioner of the 
United States, with a duly ratified copy of the treaty, embracing 
the amendments of the Senate, signed on the 2d February last, 
at Guadalupe Hidalgo, between the United States and the republic 
of Mexico. As it may be essential to the success of his mission 
that he should bear with him from your department some evi- 
dence of the debt from the United States to the Mexican govern- 
ment, in conformity with the terms of the 12th article of the 
treaty as amended, I respectfully submit, by the direction of the 
President, to your consideration, the propriety of furnishing me 
such evidence to be delivered by Mr. Sevier to that government 
in case of necessity. 

Yours, very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 
Hon. Robert J. Walker, 

Secretary of the Treasury. 



* Senate Executive Journal, VII. 334. 
' H. Ex. Doc. 50, 30 Cong. 2 Sess. 79 



1848] TO MR. CLIFFORD 7 

MESSAGE OF PRESIDENT POLK 

NOMINATING A COMMISSIONER TO MEXICO.^ 

[March i8, 1848.] 
To THE Senate of the United States: 

Sudden and severe indisposition has prevented and may for an indefinite 
period continue to prevent Ambrose H. Sevier, recently appointed commis- 
sioner to Mexico, from departing on his mission. The public interest requires 
that a diplomatic functionary should proceed without delay to Mexico, bearing 
with him the treaty between the United States and the Mexican Republic, 
lately ratified, with amendments, by and with the advice and consent of the 
Senate of the United States. It is deemed proper, with this view, to appoint 
an associate commissioner, with full powers to act separately or jointly with 
Mr. Sevier. 

I therefore nominate Nathan Clifford, of the State of Maine, to be a 
commissioner with the rank of envoy extraordinary and minister pleni- 
potentiary of the United States to the Mexican Republic. 

James K. Polk. 
Washington, March 18, 1848. 



TO MR. CLIFFORD/ 

(No. I.) Department of State, 

Washington, i8th March, 1848. 

Sir: The sudden illness of the Honorable Ambrose H. 
Sevier, lately appointed Commissioner to Mexico, having pre- 
vented him from proceeding immediately upon his mission, the 
President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, 
has appointed you an associate commissioner to that Republic 
with the rank of Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipoten- 
tiary. Mr. Sevier and yourself are each invested with full and 
equal powers, jointly or severally as circumstances may require, 
to exchange the ratifications of the Treaty of Peace concluded at 
Guadalupe Hidalgo on the 2nd February, last, between the United 
States and the Mexican Republic, with the amendments of the 
Senate, and to perform all other acts in conformity with your 
instructions. 

You will bear with you to Mexico all the instructions which 
had been prepared for Mr. Sevier, together with a copy of the 
Treaty as it has been ratified by the President of the United 



* Senate Executive Journal, VII. 343. 

^MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Mexico, XVI. 96; H. Ex. Doc. 
50, 30 Cong. 2 Sess. 52. 



8 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

States, and you will act in all particulars as though these instruc- 
tions had been formally addressed to Mr. Sevier and yourself as 
joint and several Commissioners. It is hoped that in the course 
of a week or ten days Mr. Sevier's health may be sufficiently 
restored to enable him to follow you; but you are expressly 
enjoined not to delay to act upon your instructions, awaiting his 
arrival. 

The President has manifested his high confidence in your 
integrity and ability by entrusting to you this important and 
responsible mission, and I entertain no doubt that in your conduct 
you will abundantly justify his selection. 

Yours, very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 
Hon. Nathan Clifford, Esquire, &c. &c. &c. 



TO MR. SEVIER.^ 



(No. I.) Department of State, 

Washington, i8th March, 1848. 

Sir: You have been appointed by the President, by and 
with the advice and consent of the Senate, to a most important 
and responsible mission. The task has thus been assigned to 
you of consummating the Treaty of Peace which was signed at 
Guadalupe Hidalgo on the second day of February, last, between 
the United States and the Mexican Republic, and which, on the 
loth instant, was ratified by the Senate with amendments. 

This brief statement will indicate to you clearly the line of 
your duty. You are not sent to Mexico for the purpose of 
negotiating any new Treaty or of changing in any particular the 
ratified Treaty which you will bear with you. None of the 
amendments adopted by the Senate can be rejected or modified 
except by the authority of that Body. Your whole duty will 
then consist in using every honorable effort to obtain from the 
Mexican Government a ratification of the Treaty in the form 
in which it has been ratified by the Senate, and this with the 
least practicable delay. 

For this purpose, it may and most probably will become 
necessary that you should explain to the Mexican Minister for 



'MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Mexico, XVI. 84; H. Ex. 
Doc. 50, 30 Cong. 2 Sess. 47. 



1848] TO MR. SEVIER 9 

Foreign Affairs, or to other authorized agents of the Mexican 
Government, the reasons which have influenced the Senate in 
adopting their several amendments to the Treaty. This duty 
you will perform as much as possible by personal conferences. 
Diplomatic notes are to be avoided unless in case of necessity. 
These might lead to endless discussions and indefinite delay. 
Besides, they could not have any practical result, as your mission 
is confined to procuring a ratification from the Mexican Govern- 
ment of the Treaty as it came from the Senate and does not 
extend to the slightest modification in any of its provisions. 

One of the principal reasons which induced me to address 
a note to the Mexican Minister for Foreign Affairs in explanation 
of the amendments of the Senate was to avoid delay and pre- 
vent unnecessary discussion. This note, dated on the i8th 
instant (with a copy of which you have been furnished), 
together with your own intimate and personal knowledge of all 
the proceedings of the Senate upon the Treaty, will enable you 
promptly to furnish every explanation which may be required. 

Should you find it impossible, after exhausting every hon- 
orable effort for this purpose, to obtain a ratification from the 
President and Congress of Mexico of the Treaty as it has been 
amended by the Senate, it may then become necessary for you 
in conversation with the proper Mexican authorities to express 
an opinion as to what portion of the Senate's amendments they 
might probably be willing to yield for the sake of restoring 
peace between the two Republics. This will be a very delicate 
duty; but upon one point, at least, you will be relieved from all 
embarrassment. Neither the President nor the Senate of the 
United States can ever consent to ratify any Treaty containing 
the tenth article of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in favor of 
grantees of land in Texas or elsewhere. The Government of 
the United States do not possess the power to carry such an 
article into execution; and if they did, it would be highly unjust 
and inexpedient. Should the Mexican Government persist in 
retaining this article, then all prospect of immediate peace is 
ended ; and of this you may give them an absolute assurance. 

In regard to the amendments by the Senate to the 12th 
Article of the Treaty, in relation to the mode of paying the 
$12,000,000, it is believed that the case might be different. That 
enlightened body would probably not insist on these amendments 
if it should appear that they involved the question of peace or 
war. That they may involve this question is not improbable; 



10 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

but of this you can better judge upon the spot than the Presi- 
dent can at this distance. 

It is well known that the present Mexican Government are 
sorely straitened for want of the pecuniary means of support. 
Their revenues have been rightfully seized by the commanding 
general for the support of the United States army in Mexico, 
and they are thus left comparatively without resources. The 
Mexican Government are pledged to peace. They have staked 
their existence upon peace. Without peace they must be de- 
stroyed. It may be, however, that they cannot sustain themselves 
in making peace and executing the Treaty, without anticipating 
the receipt of the whole or a part of the $12,000,000. Should 
this appear to you to be clearly the case, and that they cannot 
obtain the means necessary to prolong their existence under the 
amendments of the Senate to the 12th article, it is not supposed 
that you would incur any risk by* assuring them that the Senate 
would recede from these amendments. 

It cannot be denied that the twelfth article, as amended 
by the Senate, contains a positive and unconditional obligation 
on the part of the United States to pay to the Mexican Republic 
the sum of $12,000,000, in four annual instalments of three 
millions each, commencing one year after the ratification of the 
Treaty by the Mexican Government. Negotiable or transferable 
certificates cannot, however, be issued for that amount. All that 
this Government could possibly do under the Treaty, as it now 
stands, would be to furnish the Mexican Government with evi- 
dences of the debt in exact conformity with the terms of the 
article as amended. Upon such evidences, it is believed that the 
Mexican Government might raise the means necessary for their 
immediate support. In this belief the President may be mistaken, 
because capitalists are a timid race. Should it appear to the 
Senate that such would probably prove to be the fact, it is 
confidently believed that they would not risk a defeat of the 
Treaty by adhering to their amendments to the twelfth article. 

The remaining amendments, although doubtless highly 
proper, are comparatively unimportant. According to the Presi- 
dent's understanding of that portion of the 9th Article as it 
originally stood, which relates to the Catholic Church, it contains 
nothing more than an amplification of the clauses contained in 
the Louisiana and Florida Treaties and in the amendment of the 
Senate to the present Treaty, providing for the security of the 
Catholic inhabitants in the free exercise of their religion without 



1848] TO MR. SEVIER U 

restriction. In this view of the subject the amendment could 
not finally jeopard the fate of the present Treaty. 

It is not deemed necessary to remark particularly on the 
remaining amendments. 

Still I repeat, that until you find this to be unattainable, you 
are to insist strenuously upon the ratification of the Treaty by 
the Mexican Government just as it has been ratified by the Senate. 
You might for this purpose urge upon them the following con- 
siderations, together with others which will suggest themselves 
to your own mind. 

1. If this be done, the war will be promptly ended and the 
blessings of peace will be immediately restored. On the other 
hand, should the Treaty be sent back to the President to be again 
submitted to the Senate, this must occasion considerable delay 
and may altogether defeat the object. 

2. Should the war be renewed, the Mexican Government 
can never again expect to make peace on terms so favorable as 
those contained in the present Treaty. In the opinion of a very 
large and increasing number of our fellow citizens, these terms 
are less favorable to the United States than we had a right to 
expect. The present Treaty was negotiated substantially in 
conformity with the ultimatum of my instructions dated on the 
15th April, last, at a period when we had only just learned the 
capture of Vera Cruz and the Castle of San Juan d'Ulloa. Be- 
tween that period and the date of the Treaty, circumstances had 
entirely changed, and a vast amount of precious blood and of 
treasure had been expended in reaching and capturing the City 
of Mexico. Whilst for this reason the President might have 
justly exacted far more rigorous terms, yet such was his desire 
to conclude peace that he promptly assented to all the material 
provisions of the present Treaty and submitted it to the Senate. 
Should the war be renewed, instead of purchasing at a fair price 
a portion of the territories which we have been obliged to conquer 
and which are now in our undisturbed possession, and restoring 
the remainder to Mexico, we shall be compelled to appropriate, 
without pecuniary compensation, a just and ample indemnity in 
Mexican territory for all the expenses of the war. 

Although the President has the most entire confidence in 
your sagacity, ability, and discretion, yet it is deemed proper to 
make some suggestions to you in regard to the conduct which 
you ought to pursue in accomplishing the objects of your 
mission. 



12 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

The Mexicans are a sensitive and suspicious people. They 
are now humbled in their own estimation by our brilliant and 
repeated victories. Their jealousy ought to be allayed by treat- 
ing them, in all your intercourse, with marked respect. All the 
external forms of civility to which the Spanish race attach such 
peculiar importance, ought to be strictly observed by you. This 
will not only promote the success of your mission, but may be 
the foundation of a lasting peace and sincere friendship between 
the two Republics. 

Whilst in Mexico, you will communicate freely and un- 
reservedly with the commanding general of the American forces, 
who will be instructed to render you all the aid in his power, in 
accomplishing the object of your mission. 

You will bear with you a copy of the Treaty with the 
amendments of the Senate ratified in due form by the President 
of the United States, together with a full power to exchange the 
ratifications with any Mexican authority clothed with a like full 
power from his Government to perform this duty. After the 
exchange of ratifications, you will return to the United States 
with the copy of the Treaty ratified by the Mexican Government, 
which you shall have received. 

Should the Mexican Government ratify the Treaty with the 
amendment of the Senate striking out its tenth article, and refuse 
to ratify all or any of the remaining amendments, you will, then, 
notwithstanding, urge them to send without delay a Commis- 
sioner or other diplomatic agent to the United States clothed 
with full power to exchange ratifications in the City of Washing- 
ton, in case the Senate should advise and consent to the ratifica- 
tion of the Treaty in the form in which it shall have been ratified 
by Mexico. 

Upon reaching the City of Mexico, you will immediately 
address a note to the Mexican Minister for Foreign Affairs, 
apprizing him of your arrival and of your readiness to confer, 
without delay, on the subject of your mission, either with him- 
self or with any authorized agent of the Mexican Government, 
at any place which may be designated. 

In regard to the first three millions of the fifteen millions 
of dollars secured to the Mexican Government by the twelfth 
article of the Treaty as amended, provision has already been made 
for its payment, under the authority which has been given to 
Major-General William O. Butler by the Secretary of the Treas- 
ury to draw on the Treasury of the United States for that 



1848] TO MR. SEVIER 13 

amount. General Butler's draft, which will be promptly honored 
on presentation, you may deliver to the appropriate Mexican 
authorities, immediately after the Treaty with the amendments of 
the Senate shall have been duly ratified by the Mexican Govern- 
ment. As the disbursement of so large a sum is a matter of 
great importance, you should use every precaution to be certain 
that the draft shall be drawn in favor of the proper Mexican 
functionary, and that the whole business shall be transacted in 
such a manner that no difficulty can hereafter arise upon the sub- 
ject. You will take receipts in triplicate for such draft, which 
ought, if possible, to be signed by the President of Mexico and 
countersigned by the Minister of Finance. 

You are also furnished with four evidences of debt from 
the Secretary of the Treasury, dated on the i6th instant, for three 
millions of dollars each, corresponding with the four instalments 
to be paid to Mexico under the 12th Article of the Treaty as 
amended by the Senate. These evidences are in exact conformity 
with the Treaty. Should you discover that for the want of them 
serious impediments might exist to the ratification of the Treaty 
on the part of Mexico, you are then authorized to make known 
to the Mexican Government that they are in your possession and 
that you will deliver them over immediately after the exchange 
of ratifications. Still, the President would prefer that the 
Mexican Government should be satisfied with the obligation as it 
stands contained in the 12th Article. In that event, you will 
cancel these evidences and return them to this Department.^ 
Should you deliver them over, you will use all the precautions 
which I have suggested in relation to the draft for three millions 
of dollars. 

The naval forces of the United States in the Pacific have 
captured Mazatlan and other places on the West coast of Mexico. 
These, by the terms of the Treaty, must be surrendered. To 
avoid unnecessary delay in its execution, the Secretary of the 
Navy, by direction of the President, has issued orders to the 
commander of these forces to evacuate all the ports and places 
in the Mexican territory on the Pacific which may be in his 
military possession south of the line of boundary established by 
the Treaty, as soon as he shall receive notice of the exchange of 



^ These evidences were never used, but were cancelled and returned to 
the department. J. B. [This note appears in the printed document, but of 
course is not in the record book. J. B. M.l 



14 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

ratifications. You will, therefore, communicate to him a knowl- 
edge of this event as speedily as possible, and at the same time 
transmit him a copy of the Treaty. 

Yours, very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 
To Ambrose H. Sevier, Esquire, 

Commissioner to Mexico, &c., &c., &c. 



TO THE MEXICAN MINISTER OF FOREIGN 
RELATIONS.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, i8th March, 1848. 

Sir: Two years have nearly passed away since our Re- 
publics have been engaged in war. Causes which it would now 
be vain if not hurtful to recapitulate, have produced this calamity. 
Under the blessing of a kind Providence, this war, I trust, is 
about to terminate, and, hereafter, instead of the two nations 
doing each other all the harm they can, their mutual energies will 
be devoted to promote each other's welfare by the pursuits of 
peace and of commerce. I most cordially congratulate you on 
the cheering prospect. This will become a reality as soon as 
the Mexican Government shall approve the treaty of peace be- 
tween the two nations concluded at Guadalupe Hidalgo on the 
2nd February, last, with the amendments thereto which have 
been adopted by the Senate of the United States. 

The President, in the exercise of his constitutional discre- 
tion, a few days after this treaty was received, submitted it to 
the Senate for their consideration and advice as to its ratification. 

Your Excellency is doubtless aware that under the Consti- 
tution of the United States, " the advice and consent of the 
Senate " is necessary to the validity of all treaties, and that this 
must be given by a majority of two thirds of the Senators 
present. Every Treaty must receive the sanction of this august 
Executive Council in the manner prescribed by the Constitution, 
before it can be binding on the United States. 



^ MSS. Department of State, Communications to Foreign Sovereigns 
and States, III. 51; S. Ex. Doc. 60, 30 Cong, i Sess. 66; H. Ex. Doc. 69, 
30 Cong. I Sess. 66; H. Ex. Doc. 50, 30 Cong. 2 Sess. 42. 



1848] TO THE MEXICAN MINISTER 15 

The Senate commenced their dehberations on this Treaty 
on the 23d February, last, and continued to discuss its provisions 
until the loth instant (March) when they finally advised and 
consented to its ratification, by a majority of 38 to 14. Your 
Excellency will perceive that a change of 4 votes taken from 
the majority and added to the minority would have defeated the 
Treaty. 

I have now the honor to transmit you a printed copy of the 
Treaty, with a copy, in manuscript, of the amendments and final 
proceedings of the Senate upon it. This is done to hasten with 
as little delay as practicable the blessed consummation of peace, 
by placing in the possession of the Mexican Government at as 
early a period as possible all the information which they may 
require to guide their deliberations. 

In recurring to the amendments adopted by the Senate, it 
affords me sincere satisfaction to observe that none of the lead- 
ing features of the Treaty have been changed. Neither the 
delineation of the boundaries between the two Republics, nor the 
consideration to be paid to Mexico for the extension of the 
boundaries of the United States, nor the obligation of the latter 
to restrain the Indians within their limits from committing hos- 
tilities on the territories of Mexico, nor, indeed, any other stipula- 
tion of national importance to either of the parties, has been 
stricken out from the Treaty by the Senate. In all its important 
features, it remains substantially as it was when it came from 
the hands of the negotiators. 

The first amendment adopted by the Senate is to insert in 
Article 3, after the words '' Mexican Republic " where they first 
occur, the words, '' and the ratifications exchanged.'' 

Under this article, as it originally stood, the blockades were 
to cease and the troops of the United States were to commence 
the evacuation of the Mexican territory immediately upon the 
ratification of the Treaty by both Governments. The amend- 
ment requires in addition that these ratifications shall have been 
first exchanged. 

The object of this amendment doubtless was to provide 
against the possibility that the American Senate and the Mexican 
Congress might ratify the Treaty, the first in its amended and 
the latter in its original form; in which event peace would not 
thereby be concluded. Besides, it was known that this amend- 
ment could produce no delay, as under the amendment of the 
Senate to the 23d article, the ratifications of the Treaty may 



16 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

be exchanged at the seat of Government of Mexico the moment 
after the Mexican Government and Congress shall have accepted 
the Treaty as amended by the Senate of the United States. 

The second amendment of the Senate is to strike out the 
9th Article and insert the following in lieu thereof. 

Article 9. 

" The Mexicans who, in the territories aforesaid, shall not 
preserve the character of citizens of the Mexican Republic, con- 
formably with what is stipulated in the preceding article, shall 
be incorporated into the Union of the United States, and be 
admitted, at the proper time, (to be judged of by the Congress 
of the United States,) to the enjoyment of all the rights of 
citizens of the United States, according to the principles of the 
Constitution; and in the meantime shall be maintained and pro- 
tected in the free enjoyment of their liberty and property, and 
secured in the free exercise of their religion without restriction." 

This article is substantially the same with the original 9th 
article; but it avoids unnecessary prolixity and accords with the 
former safe precedents of this Government in the Treaties by 
which we acquired Louisiana from France and Florida from 
Spain. 

The Louisiana Treaty of the 30th April, 1803, contains the 
following article. 

Article 3. 

" The inhabitants of the ceded territory shall be incorporated 
in the union of the United States, and admitted as soon as pos- 
sible, according to the principles of the Federal Constitution, to 
the enjoyment of all the rights, advantages, and immunities of 
citizens of the United States, and in the meantime they shall be 
maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty, 
property, and the religion which they profess." 

Again, in the Florida Treaty of 226. February, 18 19, the 
following articles are contained. 

Article 5. 

" The inhabitants of the ceded Territories shall he secured 
in the free exercise of their religion, without any restriction; and 
all those who may desire to remove to the Spanish Dominions 
shall be permitted to sell or export their effects, at any time what- 
ever, without being subject, in either case, to duties." 



1848] TO THE MEXICAN MINISTER 17 

Article 6. 

" The inhabitants of the territories which His CathoHc Ma- 
jesty cedes to the United States, by this Treaty, shall be incor- 
porated in the Union of the United States, as soon as may be 
consistent with the principles of the Federal Constitution, and 
admitted to the enjoyment of all the privileges, rights, and im- 
munities of the citizens of the United States." 

Under these Treaties with France and Spain, the free and 
flourishing States of Louisiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, and 
Florida have been admitted into the Union ; and no complaint has 
ever been made by the original or other inhabitants that their 
civil or religious rights have not been amply protected. The 
property belonging to the different churches in the United States 
is held as sacred by our Constitution and laws as the property 
of individuals; and every individual enjoys the inalienable right 
of worshipping his God according to the dictates of his own 
conscience. The Catholic Church in this country would not, if 
they could, change their position in this particular. 

After the successful experience of nearly half a century, 
the Senate did not deem it advisable to adopt any new form for 
the 9th Article of the Treaty; and surely the Mexican Govern- 
ment ought to be content with an article similar to those which 
have proved satisfactory to the Governments of France and 
Spain, and to all the inhabitants of Louisiana and Florida, both 
of which were Catholic provinces. 

I ought perhaps here to note a modification in the 9th article, 
as adopted by the Senate, of the analogous articles of the Louis- 
iana and Florida Treaties. Under this modification, the in- 
habitants of the ceded territories are to be admitted into the 
Union " at the proper time (to be judged of by the Congress of 
the United States) " &c. 

Congress, under all circumstances and under all Treaties, 
are the sole judges of this proper time, because they, and they 
alone, under the Federal Constitution, have power to admit new 
States into the Union. That they will always exercise this power 
as soon as the condition of the inhabitants of any acquired 
territory may render it proper, cannot be doubted. By this means 
the Federal Treasury can alone be relieved from the expense 
of supporting territorial Governments. Besides, Congress will 
never lend a deaf ear to a people anxious to enjoy the privilege 
of self government. Their application to become a State or 

Vol. VIII— 2 



18 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

States of the Union will be granted the moment this can be done 
with safety. 

The third amendment of the Senate strikes from the Treaty 
the loth Article. 

It is truly unaccountable how this article should have found 
a place in the Treaty. That portion of it in regard to lands in 
Texas did not receive a single vote in the Senate. If it were 
adopted, it would be a mere nullity on the face of the Treaty, and 
the Judges of our Courts would be compelled to disregard it. 
It is our glory that no human power exists in this country which 
can deprive one individual of his property without his consent 
and transfer it to another. If grantees of lands in Texas, under 
the Mexican Government, possess valid titles, they can maintain 
their claims before our Courts of Justice. If they have forfeited 
their grants by not complying with the conditions on which they 
w^ere made, it is beyond the power of this Government, in any 
mode of action, to render these titles valid either against Texas 
or any individual proprietor. To resuscitate such grants and to 
allow the grantees the same period after the exchange of the 
ratifications of this Treaty to which they were originally entitled 
for the purpose of performing the conditions on which these 
grants had been made, even if this could be accomplished by the 
power of the government of the United States, would work 
manifold injustice. 

These Mexican grants, it is understood, cover nearly the 
whole sea coast and a large portion of the interior of Texas. 
They embrace thriving villages and a great number of cultivated 
farms, the proprietors of which have acquired them honestly by 
purchase from the State of Texas. These proprietors are now 
dwelling in peace and security. To revive dead titles and sufifer 
the inhabitants of Texas to be ejected under them from their 
possessions, would be an act of flagrant injustice if not wanton 
cruelty. Fortunately this Government possesses no power to 
adopt such a proceeding. 

The same observations equally apply to such grantees in 
New Mexico and Upper California. 

The present Treaty provides amply and specifically in its 
8th and 9th Articles for the security of property of every kind 
belonging to Mexicans, whether acquired under Mexican grants 
or otherwise, in the acquired territory. The property of for- 
eigners, under our Constitution and laws, will be equally secure 
without any Treaty stipulation. The tenth article could have 



1848] TO THE MEXICAN MINISTER 19 

no effect upon such grantees as had forfeited their claims, but 
that of involving them in endless litigation, under the vain hope 
that a Treaty might cure the defects in their titles against honest 
purchasers and owners of the soil. 

And here it may be worthy of observation that if no stipula- 
tion whatever were contained in the Treaty to secure to the 
Mexican inhabitants and all others protection in the free enjoy- 
ment of their liberty, property, and the religion which they 
profess, these would be amply guaranteed by the Constitution 
and laws of the United States. These invaluable blessings, under 
our form of Government, do not result from Treaty stipulations, 
but from the very nature and character of our institutions. 

The fourth amendment of the Senate is to strike from the 
nth Article the following words: '' nor to provide such Indians 
with fire arms or ammunition, by sale or otherwise." This 
amendment was adopted on a principle of humanity. These 
Indians must live by the chase; and without fire arms they 
cannot secure the means of subsistence. Indeed, for the want of 
such arms, the extremity of hunger and suffering might drive 
them to commit the very depredations which the Treaty seeks to 
avoid, and to make incursions for food either upon the MiCxican 
or American settlements. This Government possesses both the 
ability and the will to restrain the Indians within the extended 
limits of the United States from making incursions into the 
Mexican territories, as well as to execute all the other stipulations 
of the nth article. We believe, however, that whilst to deprive 
them of fire arms and ammunition would be cruel, it would at the 
same time have a tendency to increase rather than to diminish 
their disposition to make hostile incursions. 

The fifth amendment of the Senate to the twelfth article 
adopts the second mode of payment of the remaining 
$12,000,000, after the payment of the first $3,000,000, in ex- 
clusion of the first mode pointed out by the Treaty. The 
amended article as it stands is as follows. 

Article 12. 

" In consideration of the extension acquired by the bound- 
aries of the United States, as defined in the fifth article of the 
present Treaty, the Government of the United States engages to 
pay to that of the Mexican Republic the sum of fifteen millions 
of dollars. Immediately after this Treaty shall have been duly 
ratified by the Government of the Mexican Republic, the sum 



20 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

of three millions of dollars shall be paid to the said Government 
by that of the United States, at the City of Mexico, in the gold 
or silver coin of Mexico. The remaining twelve millions of 
dollars shall be paid at the same place and in the same coin, in 
annual instalments of three millions of dollars each, together with 
interest on the same at the rate of six per centum per annum. 
This interest shall begin to run upon the whole sum of Twelve 
millions from the day of the ratification of the present Treaty 
by the Mexican Government, and the first of the instalments shall 
be paid at the expiration of one year from the same day. To- 
gether with each annual instalment, as it falls due, the whole 
interest accruing on such instalment from the beginning shall 
also be i)aid." 

It is not apprehended that the Mexican Government will 
have any difficulty in agreeing to this amendment. It is true 
that in case they should find it convenient to anticipate the receipt 
of the whole or any part of the $12,000,000, they might do this 
more readily were a stock to be created and transferable certifi- 
cates issued for small and convenient sums; but yet no doubt is 
entertained that capitalists may be found who will be willing to 
advance any amount that might be desired upon the faith of a 
Treaty obligation solemnly entered into by the Government of 
the United States. 

The sixth amendment of the Senate is to insert in the 
twenty-third article, after the word " Washington," the words 
" or at the seat of Government of Mexico." The object of this 
amendment is to hasten the final conclusion of peace between 
the two Republics. Under it, should the President and Congress 
of Mexico agree to the Treaty as it has been amended by the 
Senate of the United States, the ratifications may be immediately 
thereafter exchanged at Queretaro and the happy consummation 
be at once accomplished. 

The seventh and last amendment of the Senate is to strike 
out the additional article. This was done from the conviction 
that the period of four months from the date of the Treaty, the 
time allowed by the 23rd Article for the exchange of ratifications, 
would be abundantly sufficient for this purpose; and this more 
especially as the ratifications may now, under the amendment of 
the Senate, be exchanged in Mexico. Besides, the idea of post- 
poning the final conclusion of peace and keeping the present 
Treaty pending between the two governments until the 2nd Oc- 
tober, next, could not be entertained by the Senate. 



1848] TO THE MEXICAN MINISTER 21 

The President, by and with the advice and consent of the 
Senate, has appointed the Honorable Ambrose H. Sevier of the 
State of Arkansas and the Honorable Nathan Clifford of the 
State of Maine Commissioners to Mexico with the rank of Envoy 
Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary. Mr. Sevier has for 
many years been a distinguished Senator of the United States, 
and for a considerable period has occupied the highly responsible 
station of Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations; and 
Mr. Clifford is an eminent citizen of the State of Maine, is Attor- 
ney General of the United States, and a member of the Presi- 
dent's cabinet. They will bear with them to Mexico a copy of 
the Treaty with the amendments of the Senate duly ratified by 
the President of the United States ; and have been invested, either 
jointly or severally, with full powers to exchange ratifications 
with the proper Mexican authorities. That this final act may be 
speedily accomplished and that the result may be a sincere and 
lasting peace and friendship between the two Republics, is the 
ardent desire of the President and people of the United States. 

I avail myself of this occasion to offer to Your Excellency 
the assurance of my most distinguished consideration. 

James Buchanan. 
To His Excellency^ the Minister of Foreign Relations 
OF the Mexican Republic. 

P. S. I regret to inform Your Excellency that Mr. Sevier 
has been seized with a sudden illness which renders him unable 
to depart immediately upon his mission. The two Commis- 
sioners, however, have been invested with full and equal powers 
to execute their instructions severally, as well as jointly, and 
the acts of the one will be of equal validity with the acts of both. 
No delay can therefore be experienced on this account. It is 
expected that Mr. Sevier will be able to leave for Mexico in a 
week or ten days. 



22 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO THE PRESIDENT/ 

[March 20, 1848.] 
The Secretary of State, to whom was referred that part of 
the Resokition of the House of Representatives of the 7th ultimo, 
requesting the President to communicate to that House "copies 
of all correspondence between Major General Scott and N. P. 
Trist, late Commissioner of the U. S. in Mexico, and between the 
latter and the Secretary of State, which has not heretofore been 
published, and the publication of which may not be incompatible 
with the public interest," has the honor to lay before the President 
the accompanying papers, and to report that they comprise all the 
correspondence between General Scott and Mr. Trist, and be- 
tween the latter and this Department relating thereto, on record 
or on file in the Department. 

All which is respectfully submitted. 

James Buchanan. 
Department of State, 
Washington, 20th March, 1848. 



TO THE PRESIDENT/ 

[March 21, 1848.] 
To THE President of the United States : 

The Secretary of State, to whom has been referred the Reso- 
lution of the House of Representatives of the 8th instant calling 
for " any correspondence which may have recently taken place 
with the British Government, relative to the adoption of principles 
of reciprocity in the trade and shipping of the two countries, 
provided such communication shall not, in his judgment, conflict 



^MSS. Department of State, Report Book, VI. 243; H. Ex. Doc. 56, 30 
Cong. I Sess. 2; H. Ex. Doc. 60, 30 Cong, i Sess. 812. This report was 
transmitted by President Polk to the House on the same day, with a formal 
message, which is printed in the documents here cited. The message is 
printed in Richardson's Messages and Papers of the Presidents, IV. 577, 
under the erroneous date of March 10. 

'MSS. Department of State, Report Book, VI. 243. This report was 
transmitted by President Polk to the House, March 24, 1848. The message, 
but not the report, is printed in Richardson's Messages and Papers of the 
Presidents, IV. 578. 



1848] TO THE PRESIDENT 23 

with the pubHc interest," has the honor to report the accom- 
panying copy of papers. 

Respectfully submitted, 

James Buchanan. 
Department of State, 
Washington, 21st March, 1848. 



TO THE PRESIDENT.^ 

[March 22, 1848.] 
To THE President of the United States : 

The Secretary of State, to whom has been referred the Reso- 
lution of the Senate of the 17th instant, requesting the President 
to transmit to the Senate a copy of '' a despatch to the U. S. 
Consul at Monterey, T. O. Larkin, Esquire," forwarded in No- 
vember, 1845, by Captain Gillespie of the Marine Corps — and 
which was by him destroyed before entering the port of Vera 
Cruz, if a communication of the same be not, in his opinion, 
incompatible with the public interest, has the honor respectfully 
to submit to the President a copy of the despatch requested by the 
Resolution. A part of one sentence of the despatch, containing 
a statement of Mr. Larkin, has been omitted in the copy, which 
for obvious reasons it would be improper to publish. 

James Buchanan. 

Department of State, 

Washington, 22d March, 1848. 



^MSS. Department of State, Report Book, VI. 244. This report was 
communicated by President Polk to the Senate, in executive session, on March 
24, 1848. In his message President Polk said : " The resolution of the 
Senate appears to have been passed in legislative session. Entertaining the 
opinion that the publication of this despatch at this time will not be 'com- 
patible with the public interests,' but unwilling to withhold from the Senate 
information deemed important by that body, I communicate a copy of it to 
the Senate in executive session." (Senate Executive Journal, VII. 354.) 



24 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO MESSRS. SEVIER AND CLIFFORD/ 

(No. 2.) Department of State, 

Washington, 22nd March, 1848. 

Gentlemen: Referring to my instructions of the i8th 
instant relative to the amendments made by the Senate to the 
1 2th article of the Treaty, in regard to the mode of payment of 
the $12,000,000, the President has deemed it proper to give you 
additional instructions upon this subject. 

The Mexican Government may, notwithstanding all your 
efforts, refuse to ratify the Treaty because of these amendments 
to the twelfth article. In that event you are authorized to con- 
clude a new Treaty with the Mexican Government, adopting either 
the first or the second mode of payment of the $12,000,000, pre- 
scribed by the twelfth article as it stood originally, provided that 
Government shall have first ratified the original treaty with all 
the amendments adopted by the Senate. In case you should 
conclude such a Treaty, it ought immediately to be ratified by 
Mexico and a ratified copy be brought to Washington at the same 
time with the ratified copy of the Treaty which you shall have 
received in exchange from the Mexican Government for the copy 
ratified by the President. 

It is not doubted by the President that the Senate would 
immediately advise and consent to the ratification of the new 
Treaty which may be concluded by you. By this expedient, in 
case it should become necessary to resort to it, a delay of six 
weeks or two months in the final conclusion of peace might be 
avoided. 

A full power to you or either of you to conclude such a 
Treaty is herewith furnished. 

According to my instructions of the i8th instant, Mr. Sevier, 
after the exchange of the ratifications, is directed to return to 
the United States with the copy of the Treaty ratified by the 
Mexican Government. In that event Mr. Clifford will not 
accompany him, but will remain in Mexico until he shall receive 
further instructions. 

Yours, very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 
To Ambrose H. Sevier and Nathan Clifford, Esquires, 
Commissioners to Mexico. 



*MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Mexico, XVI. 98; H. Ex. 
Doc. so, 30 Cong. 2 Sess. 53. 



1848] TO THE PRESIDENT 25 

TO MR. JOHNSON/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 22c1 March, 1848. 
To THE Honorable H. V. Johnson, 

Senate. 
Dear Sir: 

Your letter of the 8th inst., was duly received but was acci- 
dentally mislaid. The statistical information which it requests 
cannot be furnished by this Department, but it is presumed you 
may obtain it by applying to the Register of the Treasury. 

There is no evidence in this Department that General Jack- 
son, during his Presidency, authorised five millions of dollars to 
be offered for the port of San Francisco. 
I have the honor to be. 

Very respectfully. Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO THE PRESIDENT.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 226. March, 1848. 
The Secretary of State, to whom was referred the Resolu- 
tion of the Senate of the 24th January, last, requesting the 
President '* to communicate to the Senate, if not inconsistent with 
the public interest, the correspondence of Mr. Wise, late Minister, 
&c., of the U. S. at the Court of Brazil, with the Department of 
State of the U. States, and with the Minister and Secretary of 
State for Foreign Affairs of Brazil, with the accompanying 
papers, as embraced in his despatches from number 53 to number 
64, inclusive, and in his despatch from off the capes of Virginia, 
dated October 9th, 1847, and in his letter to the Secretary of 
State, dated at Washington, November 3d, 1847, and the des- 
patches of Mr. Buchanan, Secretary of State, to Mr. Wise, No. 30, 
dated the 2d February, 1847, ^"^ No. 33, dated 29th March, 
1847, ^11 relating to the imprisonment of Alonzo B. Davis, a 
Lieutenant of the U. S. Navy, and three seamen of the U. S., 



^ MSS. Department of State, Report Book, VI. 245. 

^ MSS. Department of State, Report Book, VI. 244. This report was 
sent by the President to the Senate on the same day, and is printed with 
the accompanying documents in S. Ex. Doc. 29, 30 Cong, i Sess. 



26 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

by the police authority of the city of Rio de Janeiro, on the 31st 
of October, 1846," — has the honor to lay before the President 
a copy of the correspondence requested by the Resolution. 
Respectfully submitted, 

James Buchanan. 
To THE President of the United States. 



TO MR. SHIELDS.' 

(No. 25.) Department of State. 

Washington, 22nd March, 1848. 
To B. G. Shields, Esquire, 

&c. &c. &c. 
Sir: 

Your despatches Nos. 48, 49, 50, and 51, with their respec- 
tive enclosures, have been received ; and the accounts which they 
contain of the recent unhappy disturbances in Venezuela have 
been read by the President with the most painful interest. While 
he laments, however, that such scenes of violence have been per- 
mitted to occur among a people calling themselves republican and 
professing to be guided in their political institutions by the ex- 
ample of the United States, he is satisfied, nevertheless, that the 
proper remedy for these disorders is not to be found in the inter- 
vention of any foreign government in the affairs of Venezuela, 
but can only be successfully applied by its own citizens. The 
policy of the United States, as you are aware, is that of entire 
independence with respect to its own Government, and of scrupu- 
lous neutrality with respect to the internal concerns of other 
nations; and to this policy, which has found ample approval 
during the whole period of our national existence, you will be 
careful in all respects to conform, while you continue in your 
present station. 

Enclosed you will receive copies of a letter addressed by this 
Department to the Secretary of the Navy, under date of the 2nd 
instant, and of his reply thereto of the same date, by which you 
will learn that a ship of war may soon be expected on the coast 
of Venezuela, in compliance with your request ; and with the pro- 
tection which will thus be afforded them, it is hoped that no 
serious injury can occur to the persons and property of American 



* MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Venezuela, I. 69. 



1848] TO MR. SHIELDS 27 

citizens in that republic. Enclosed also is a copy of a letter 
from the Secretary of the Navy to Commodore Perry, dated 
March 2nd instant, from which it will be seen that the commander 
of the ship which is about proceeding to La Guayra will be 
directed to communicate with you, and touch at such ports as you 
may deem expedient. You will remember that she is sent to 
Venezuela for the purpose of affording security to American in- 
terests, and will be careful to advise her employment on no service 
which may be justly regarded as inconsistent with the neutral 
character of the United States. 

Amidst the difficult circumstances by which you have been 
surrounded, the President is happy to observe that your conduct 
seems to have been marked by discretion no less than by firmness, 
and that you have not been led, by your abhorrence of the violence 
which you have witnessed, to forget your position as a represen- 
tative to this Government. That your mansion as well as the 
houses of other foreign legations in Caracas should have been 
employed, during a period of popular excitement and alarm, as a 
temporary asylum for the weak or the timid who might have 
deemed their lives in jeopardy from lawless outrage, can nowhere 
be regarded either with surprise or regret; and it is gratifying 
to perceive that its employment for this purpose is not complained 
of in either of the notes addressed to you by the Minister of 
Foreign Affairs for the Government of Venezuela, of which you 
have forwarded copies to this Department. The extent, how- 
ever, to which this protection may be justly carried, must be 
determined by the minister himself, under the exigencies of each 
particular case, and with reference to the established principles 
of the law of nations. 

A minister in a foreign country is regarded by the public 
law as independent of the local jurisdiction within which he re- 
sides, and responsible for any offences he may commit only to 
his own Government. The same peculiar character belongs, also, 
to his suite, his family, and the members of his household, and 
in whatever relates to himself, or to them, is extended even to 
the mansion which he occupies. Whether its asylum can be 
violated under any circumstances, it is unnecessary on this occa- 
sion to inquire; but there is no doubt whatever, that, if it can be 
rightfully entered at all without the consent of its occupant, it 
can only be so entered in consequence of an order emanating from 
the supreme authority of the country in which the Minister re- 
sides, and for which it will be held responsible by his Government. 



28 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

For the established doctrine on this subject, I refer you to Vattel's 
Law of Nations, chapter 9, sect. 118; to Martens' Manuel Diplo- 
matique, Chapter 3, sect. 31; and to Wheaton's Elements of 
International Law, p. 174-184. 

Your application for leave of absence for six months, to en- 
able you to accompany your family to the United States, has 
been submitted to the President, but, although he desires very 
much to oblige you, he considers it inexpedient, in the present 
state of affairs in Venezuela, to comply with your request. 

In reply to your request for permission to draw in advance, 
for the full amount of the contingent fund of your Legation for 
the current year, you are referred to the rules on this subject 
contained in your printed personal instructions, which were 
carefully prepared with reference to existing laws, and which it 
is not now deemed desirable to change. 

I am, very respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO THE PRESIDENT.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 24th March, 1848. 
The Secretary of State, to whom has been referred the 
resolution of the Senate of the 17th inst., requesting the President 
to communicate to that body " copies of the correspondence be- 
tween the Minister of the U. S. at London and any authorities 
of the British Government, in relation to a postal arrangement 
between the two countries," has the honor to report to the Presi- 
dent the accompanying copies of papers. 

Respectfully submitted, 

James Buchanan. 
To the President of the United States. 



^ MSS. Department of State, Report Book, VI. 246. This report was sent 
by the President to the Senate on March 27, and was printed in S. Ex. Doc. 
30, 30 Cong. I Sess. I. 



1848] TO MR. CAMERON 29 

TO MR. CAMERON.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 27th March, 1848. 
Hon. Simon Cameron, 

Senate. 
My Dear Sir : 

I was greatly astonished to learn from you on Friday even- 
ing, after the adjournment of the Senate, that suspicions had been 
expressed in that body that the State Department had furnished 
the copy of the Confidential Document No. 7, containing the 
treaty with Mexico, the President's Message, and the accompany- 
ing documents, which appeared in the New York Herald. It is 
due to myself to state that these suspicions are wholly unfounded. 
I never delivered a copy of this document to any human being 
except to those entitled to receive them. With this exception 
no person ever asked me for a copy, or even insinuated such a 
request, and if they had I should have considered it a personal 
insult. The Department is ready and anxious to account for all 
the copies which it received; and it is due to its character that 
the Senate shall continue the investigation of this subject until 
every trace of suspicion against me, and more especially against 
the excellent gentleman who had the custody of these copies, shall 
be removed. I waive every privilege which might be supposed 
to exist, and both myself and all the clerks in the Department 
cheerfully offer to be examined on oath before the Committee 
of the Senate. My former association with the members of that 
distinguished Body, and those the most agreeable of my life, 
leave me no room to doubt that they will do me full justice in this 
particular. 

Yours very respectfully, 

Tames Buchanan. 



' MSS. Department of State, 36 Domestic Letters, 399- 



30 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO MR. DICKENS/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, March 27, 1848. 
AsBURY Dickens, Esq., 

Secretary of the Senate. 
Sir: 

Circumstances which cannot have escaped your notice render 
it necessary that I should ascertain from you, officially, the num- 
ber of copies of the Mexican treaty, with the accompanying 
confidential message and correspondence, which were sent to 
this Department, and on what day they were transmitted. 

Unless I have mistaken or forgotten the practice of your 
office, the Senate will have no difficulty in ascertaining from 
whom, if not by what means, the copies of this treaty and corres- 
pondence, which must have been in the possession of several 
northern Editors, have been taken. After all that has passed, 
this is now due from the Senate to the Department of State, 
and especially to the excellent gentleman who had the custody 
of these treaties. In this view, I would respectfully ask you to 
inform me, how many copies of this treaty, &c., were received 
by you from the printers, how many of these were distributed 
by you and to whom, and how many still remain in your posses- 
sion. You will please to answer me at your earliest convenience. 
Yours very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 



TO M. PAGEOT.^ 



Department of State, 

Washington, 29th March, 1848. 
Mr. Alphonse Pageot, 

&c. &c. &c. 
Sir: 

I have had the honor to receive your note informing me 
that from this day you consider your functions as Envoy Extra- 
ordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of France as at an end. 

In taking leave of you in this character, I should do injustice 
to my own feelings, were I not to state that the manner in which 



*MSS. Department of State, 36 Domestic Letters, 399. 

^MSS. Department of State, Notes to French Legation, VL 117. 



1848] TO MR. MEEK 31 

you have performed your high duties has been perfectly acceptable 
both to the President and myself. Whilst sustaining- the inter- 
ests of your own country with distinguished ability, you have 
manifested so much courtesy and kindness in our official inter- 
course as to have rendered it at all times agreeable. Personally, 
I shall ever feel a deep interest in your welfare. 

I beg you to accept the assurance of my high consideration. 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. MEEK.^ 



Department of State, 

Washington, 30th March, 1848. 
Alexander B. Meek, Esq. 

U. S. Attorney for the Southern 
District of Alabama, Mobile. 
Sir: 

I transmit to you, enclosed, a copy of a letter lately addressed 
to me by the Charge d' Affaires of Her Britannic Majesty at 
Washington, remonstrating against the enforcement of the pro- 
visions of the penal code of the state of Alabama relative to the 
arrival of free negroes within her jurisdiction. 

You will perceive, from a perusal of Mr. Crampton's note, 
that he calls the attention of this Government to the practical 
application of these state laws, in two instances of recent occur- 
rence, to certain colored persons forming a portion of the crews 
of the British ships '' Queen " and '* Portland," and complains of 
the treatment to which the individuals referred to have been sub- 
jected by the authorities at Mobile. I have the honor to request 
that you will institute a strict inquiry into all the facts and cir- 
cumstances connected with these cases, and report the result of 
your investigation to this Department, together with such obser- 
vations and explanations as you may deem necessary to a full 
understanding of the whole matter. 

I am, &c. 

James Buchanan. 



^MSS. Department of State, 36 Domestic Letters, 401. 



32 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO THE PRESIDENT.' 

Department of State, 

Washington, 30 March, 1848. 
The Secretary of State, to whom was referred the Resolu- 
tion of the Senate of the 28th Instant, requesting the President 
to communicate to the Senate a copy of the instructions from the 
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Brazil to Mr. Leal, the Brazilian 
Charge d'Affaires at Washington, under date the 31st of May, 
last, and by him communicated to the Department of State, of 
the notes of Mr. Buchanan to Mr. Leal of the 30th August and 
15th November, last, and of the documents therein referred to; 
provided that, " in his opinion, the communication can be made 
compatibly with the public interests," has the honor to lay before 
the President the papers specified in the subjoined list, which 
include all those called for by the Resolution not already com- 
municated to the Senate. 

Respectfully submitted, 

James Buchanan. 
To the President of the United States. 



TO MR. RUSH.^ 



(No. 12.) Department of State, 

Washington, 31st March, 1848. 
Sir : I received last evening your despatch of the 4th instant, 
No. 17, containing a sketch of the progress of the French Revo- 
lution, and of the course which you have adopted towards the 
Provisional Government. I am happy to inform you that the 
President cordially approves your conduct. It was right and 
proper that the Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipoten- 
tiary from the United States should be the first to recognise, so 
far as his powers extended, the Provisional Government of the 
French Republic. Indeed, had the representative of any other 
nation preceded you in this good work, it would have been 



^ MSS. Department of State, Report Book, VI. 248. This report was 
sent by the President to the Senate March 30, and was printed with the 
accompanying correspondence in S. Ex. Doc. 35, 30 Cong, i Sess. i. 

^ MSS. Department of State, Instructions, France, XV. 61 ; S. Ex. Doc. 
53, 30 Cong. I Sess. 3-7. 



1848] TO MR. RUSH 33 

regretted by the President. Your speech on the 28th ultimo, 
at the Hotel de Ville, to the members of the Provisional Govern- 
ment, was eminently judicious. Whilst it truly expressed the 
feelings of the President and people of the United States for the 
success of the new Republic, it did not omit our cherished policy 
of " leaving to other nations the choice of their own forms " 
of Government. 

I transmit to you, herewith, a letter of credence from the 
President to the French Republic. You are also furnished with 
a copy of this letter, which you will communicate to the Minister 
of Foreign Affairs, on asking an audience for the purpose of de- 
livering the original to the Chief Executive Authority in France. 
At this audience you will make such remarks as may be dictated 
by your own good judgment and discretion, and by your knowl- 
edge of the lively interest which the President feels in the pros- 
perity and stability of the French Republic. 

In its intercourse with foreign nations the Government of 
the United States has, from its origin, always recognised de facto 
Governments. We recognise the right of all nations to create 
and reform their political institutions according to their own 
will and pleasure. We do not go behind the existing Govern- 
ment to involve ourselves in the question of legitimacy. It is 
sufficient for us to know that a Government exists capable of 
maintaining itself ; and then its recognition on our part inevitably 
follows. This principle of action, resulting from our sacred 
regard for the independence of nations, has occasioned some 
strange anomaHes in our history. The Pope, the Emperor of 
Russia, and President Jackson were the only authorities on earth 
which ever recognized Don Miguel as king of Portugal. 

Whilst this is our settled policy, it does not follow that we 
can ever be indifferent spectators to the progress of liberty 
throughout the world, and especially in France. We can never 
forget the obligations which we owe to that generous nation for 
their aid at the darkest period of our revolutionary war in achiev- 
ing our own independence. These obligations have been trans- 
mitted from father to son — from generation to generation, and 
are still gratefully remembered. They yet live freshly in the 
hearts of our countrymen. It was, therefore, with one universal 
burst of enthusiasm that the American people hailed the late 
glorious revolution in France in favor of liberty and republican 
Government. In this feeling the President strongly sympathizes. 
Warm aspirations for the success of the new Republic are 
Vol. VIII— 3 



34 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

breathed from every heart. Liberty and order will make France 
happy and prosperous. Her destinies, under Providence, are 
now in the hands of the French People. Let them by their wis- 
dom, firmness, and moderation refute the slanders of their ene- 
mies and convince the world that they are capable of self- 
government. 

In our exultation, however, we cannot forget that Republi- 
can France will have to contend with many difficulties. Among 
the chief of these is the danger that she may be involved in war 
with the Monarchical Powers of Europe. This she ought to 
avoid by every honorable means ; and I am happy to believe that 
such will be the policy of the French Government, from the note 
of Mr. Lamartine to yourself, of the 27th ultimo, in which he 
eloquently observes " that the principle of peace and the principle 
of liberty were born on the same day in France." By abstaining 
from all aggressive movements, France will probably be able to 
perfect her republican institutions in peace. It can scarcely be 
conceived that any nation would commence hostilities against her 
simply because within her own limits she had abolished Monarchy 
and established a Republic. 

It has been the policy of our Government from its origin 
never to interfere in the domestic concerns of other nations, 
and experience has demonstrated the wisdom of this policy. In 
this respect, France may profit by our example. If war must 
come, she ought carefully to avoid even the appearance of being 
the aggressor. Should she then be attacked by the Monarchical 
Powers of Europe for adopting a Republican Government, this 
would be an outrage on her rights as an independent nation. It 
would be an attempt to punish the French people for having 
chosen that form of Government which they deemed best calcu- 
lated to promote their own happiness, and to force upon them a 
Monarchy by foreign bayonets. Such an invasion of their most 
sacred rights would be condemned by all just and wise men in 
every nation, and would be reprobated by an irresistible public 
opinion throughout the world. 

If the new Republic can preserve peace with honor, it will 
avoid the many dangers to liberty which must always follow in 
the train of war. In a conflict with the great Powers of Europe, 
France would be compelled to put forth all her energies. She 
must increase her armies to the highest war standard ; and may 
have to maintain them in the field for years. The sympathy of 
common dangers and the glory of common victories, throughout 



1848] TO MR. RUSH 35 

a long and successful struggle, are calculated to excite feelings of 
enthusiastic attachment in armies towards their triumphant com- 
mander. Under such circumstances, the history of the world 
proves that soldiers are too prone to forget their country in admir- 
ation for their leader. From Caesar to Cromwell, and from 
Cromwell to Napoleon, all powerful Republics have been des- 
troyed by successful generals fresh from their fields of glory. It 
would be most lamentable, indeed, should the new Republic split 
upon this rock. In that event, the very means which she had 
adopted to defend her liberties against the foreigner might be 
employed to establish a military despotism at home. Such a 
catastrophe would probably, for many years, arrest the progress 
of constitutional freedom throughout Europe. 

Even with a view to the extension of human liberty and 
free government throughout the world, France can do more by 
her peaceful example than she could accomplish, powerful as she 
is, by the sword. The example of a great and enlightened nation, 
in the midst of Europe, prosperous and happy in the enjoyment 
of constitutional freedom, could not fail to produce an irresistible 
influence in ameliorating the political condition of neighboring 
nations. Free institutions are in their very nature progressive, 
and if permitted to extend themselves by their own intrinsic power 
and excellence, they must gradually and surely pervade the 
civilized world. The people of each independent nation will 
then decide for themselves what degree of liberty is best adapted 
to their condition, without the forcible intervention of other 
nations. If France can maintain peace with honor, a general 
war in Europe between opposite and contending principles will 
be avoided ; and the cause of the human race will not be staked 
upon the result of a few great battles, nor be decided by mere 
brute force. 

I shall mention another difficulty which might possibly in- 
terfere with the final success of the French Revolution ; but which 
I hope may be overcome. It will, I think, be seriously doubted 
by every philosophical observer of the working of our institutions, 
whether, if the State Governments were abolished, a central Re- 
publican Government could long be maintained even in this 
country. These State Governments are the citadels of liberty and 
the watchful guardians of the rights of the people against the 
encroachments of Federal powder. Even if it were possible that 
the Federal Government could, by any sudden convulsion, be 
overthrown, the State Governments would still remain in full 



36 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

force and vigor, affording protection to the lives, the hberty, and 
the property of their citizens. These sovereignties are the main 
pillars in our political edifice, and whilst they stand firm, the 
Federal Government, which is a constitutional emanation from 
them, cannot be seriously shaken. And yet it was deemed neces- 
sary to guard against the danger of any forcible interference by 
excited multitudes with the high duties of the President and 
Congress ; and for this reason Washington opposed the establish- 
ment of the seat of the Federal Government in any of our large 
cities. 

The history of the former French Revolution has, I think, 
rendered doubtful the stability of any purely central Republican 
Government in France. When such a Government is overthrown 
at the Capital all is lost. There never have been any other 
organized Governments in reserve throughout the provmces, simi- 
lar to those in the United States, to which the people could 
resort, and around which they could rally. A revolution in Paris 
has always decided the fate of France. State Governments, or 
some substitute for them, would, therefore, seem to be advisable 
for the protection and security of constitutional liberty in the 
French Republic, composed as it is of thirty-five millions of 
people. If the ancient provinces of France were still in exist- 
ence, State Governments might be easily established. Each of 
them had laws and customs peculiar to themselves, and their 
inhabitants were denominated Normans, Bretons, Gascons, &c., 
just as our people are called Pennsylvanians, Virginians, or 
Kentuckians. But these provinces have been long since abol- 
ished, and France is now composed of eighty-six departments. 
Why may not the whole territory of France be divided into a 
convenient number of States, grouping together for this purpose 
those departments whose geographical position, peculiar inter- 
ests, and local feelings would render their population homo- 
geneous ? Governments similar to our State Governments might 
then be established in each of these divisions. I acknowledge 
that the task would be difificult; but yet if undertaken with the 
zeal, energy, and ability which characterize Frenchmen, it can be 
accomplished. The security and permanence of constitutional 
liberty in France may possibly depend upon the establishment of 
such State Governments. On this subject I speak with some 
diffidence and give you merely my impressions. I know that 
centralism would add strength to the Executive power, and 
render it more formidable to the enemies of France; but, at the 



1848] TO MR. RUSH 37 

same time, there is some reason to apprehend that the adoption 
of this system might endanger both the Hberty and the stabiHty 
of the RepubHc. 

I have ventured upon these speculations, because it is certain 
that, in your intercourse with the authorities of the new RepubHc, 
you will be often called upon in conversation for information re- 
specting our political system, State and National, which they 
seem to have adopted as their model, and also for your opinion 
how far this system ought to be changed or modified so as best 
to adapt it to the peculiar position of the French Republic. Your 
intimate and enlightened knowledge of our Government, both 
theoretical and practical, will enable you to impart much valuable 
information and advice to the French authorities. 

The President and people of the United States anxiously 
desire that the French Republic may be firmly established, and 
may secure the blessings of liberty and free Government to 
millions of Frenchmen yet unborn. Whilst we hope much and 
believe much, we still feel that anxiety for the result which is 
inseparable from the human mind whilst any doubt remains 
concerning the accomplishment of a great object in which we feel 
the most profound interest. You will not fail, therefore, to advise 
us regularly by every steamer of the progress of events in France. 
I am. Sir, respectfully. Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 
Richard Rush, Esq., &c., &c., &c. 

P. S. — The establishment of a Republic in France may, I 
trust, prove favorable to the removal of unwise restrictions in 
the trade between the two countries and to a commercial arrange- 
ment which would be equally beneficial to the people of both. I 
shall, ere long, address you on this subject. In the meantime 
you might adopt means to ascertain what would be the prospect 
of success. 



38 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO MR. BANCROFT/ 

(No. 2y.) Department of State, 

Washington, April i, 1848. 
George Bancroft, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

I have received and read with great satisfaction the interest- 
ing- sketch which is contained in your despatch No. 65, dated 
loth March, 1848, of the probable causes and results of the late 
revolution in France. For the general views of the Government 
of the United States on this subject, you are referred to the 
enclosed copy of a letter which has been this day addressed by the 
Department to the American Minister in Paris. 

Appreciating as you do the deep anxiety with which the 
progress of events in Europe must be now regarded on this side 
of the Atlantic, you will not fail at this interesting period to 
communicate fully and frequently with this Department. 
I am, Sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. INGERSOLL.^ 

(No. 5.) Department of State, 

Washington, April i, 1848. 
Ralph J. Ingersoll, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

Your despatch No. 8, dated the nth of February, and re- 
questing your recall from your present mission, has been received. 
Under ordinary circumstances, the reasons which have 
prompted your request would probably induce the President to 
comply with it ; but in the present condition of European affairs, 
although he desires very much to oblige you, he considers it highly 
necessary that you should remain at your post. When your letter 
was written, the late revolution in France had not occurred ; and 
you could not therefore have anticipated the increased importance 
which by that event has been given to Russia, and the consequent 



' MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Great Britain, XV. 358. 
^MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Russia, XIV. 81. 



1848] MESSAGE OF THE PRESIDENT 39 

interest with which her movements and her poHcy must now 
be regarded by other nations. Of these considerations you are 
now however fully aware, and you will see in them undoubtedly 
the most weighty reasons for postponing your return to the 
United States. Enclosed is a copy of a despatch which has this 
day been addressed by the Department to the American Minister 
in Paris, and to which you are referred for the general views of 
this Government upon the subject of the late French revolution. 

The President has no doubt that you will use every effort 
to keep yourself informed of the progress of events in Russia, 
and expects that you will not fail to communicate often and 
fully with this Department. 

I am, Sir, respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



MESSAGE OF PRESIDENT POLK 

ON THE REVOLUTION IN FRANCE.^ 

[April 3, 1848.] 
To THE Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States : 

I communicate to Congress, for their information, a copy of a despatch, 
with the accompanying documents, received at the Department of State, 
from the envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United 
States at Paris, giving official information of the overthrow of the French 
monarchy, and the establishment in its stead of a " provisional government, 
based on republican principles," 

This great event occurred suddenly, and was accomplished almost without 
bloodshed. The world has seldom witnessed a more interesting or sublime 
spectacle than the peaceful rising of the French people, resolved to secure 
for themselves enlarged liberty, and to assert, in the majesty of their strength, 
the great truth that in this enlightened age man is capable of governing 
himself. 

The prompt recognition of the new government, by the representative 
of the United States at the French Court, meets my full and unqualified 
approbation ; and he has been authorized, in a suitable manner, to make 
known this fact to the constituted authorities of the French Republic. 

Called upon to act upon a sudden emergency, which could not have 
been anticipated by his instructions, he judged rightly of the feelings and 
sentiments of his government and his countrymen, when, in advance of the 
diplomatic representatives of other countries, he was the first to recognize, 
so far as it was in his power, the free government established by the French 
people. 



^ S. Ex. Doc. 32, 30 Cong, i Sess. 



40 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

The policy of the United States has ever been that of non-intervention 
in the domestic affairs of other countries, leaving to each to establish the form 
of government of its ow^n choice. 

While this wise policy will be maintained towards France, now suddenly 
transformed from a monarchy into a republic, all our sympathies are natur- 
ally enlisted on the side of a great people who, imitating our example, have 
resolved to be free. That such sympathy should exist on the part of the 
people of the United States with the friends of free government in every 
part of the world, and especially in France, is not remarkable. We can 
never forget that France was our early friend in our eventful revolution, 
and generously aided us in shaking off a foreign yoke, and becoming a free 
and independent people. 

We have enjoyed the blessings of our system of well regulated self- 
government for near three-fourths of a century, and can properly appreciate 
its value. Our ardent and sincere congratulations are extended to the 
patriotic people of France upon their noble, and thus far successful, efforts 
to found for their future government liberal institutions similar to our own. 

It is not doubted that, under the benign influence of free institutions, 
the enlightened statesmen of republican France will find it to be for her 
true interest and permanent glory to cultivate with the United States the 
most liberal principles of international intercourse and commercial reciprocity, 
whereby the happiness and prosperity of both nations will be promoted. 

James K. Polk. 
Washington, April 3d, 1848. 



TO MR. MANN/ 



Department of State, 

Washington, 4th April, 1848. 
A. Dudley AIann, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

Your despatches to No. 11, inclusive, have been received. 
The last, dated Munich, the 12th February, reached the Depart- 
ment on the 31st ultimo. 

In reply to the inquiry contained in your No. 11, I have to 
inform you that the Declaration of Accession of Mecklenburg- 
Schwerin to the Hanoverian Treaty is still before the Senate. 

In your No. 10, of the 5th February, you state, that the 
duties of your mission will probably be closed by the ist of May; 
at which period, you express a wish that your pay and expenses 
may cease, and that permission may be granted you to remain 



'MSS. Department of State, Instructions to Diplomatic Agents, &c., 11. 



1848] TO MR. STILES 41 

abroad. This arrangement, which does not appear to be un- 
reasonable, is approved by the Department ; and I have, therefore, 
great pleasure in acceding to your request. 
I am. Sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. DONELSON.^ 

(No. 13.) Department of State, 

Washington, 5th April, 1848. 
Andrew J. Donelson, Esqre., 

&c., &c., Berlin. 
Sir: 

I have the honor to transmit to you a copy of a despatch 
addressed by this Department, on the 31st ultimo, to the Ameri- 
can Minister in Paris, which will make you acquainted with the 
views entertained by your Government on the subject of the late 
Revolution in France. At a moment so critical in the affairs 
of Europe, you will keep the Department advised of every thing 
of interest which transpires in Prussia. 

Your despatches to No. 59, inclusive — with their respective 
enclosures — ^have been received. 
I am, Sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. STILES.' 



No. 20. Department of State, 

Washington, 5th April, 1848. 
William H. Stiles, Esqre., 

etc., etc., Vienna. 
Sir: 

I have the honor to transmit to you a copy of a despatch 
addressed by this Department, on the 31st ultimo, to the American 
Minister in Paris, which will make you acquainted with the 
general views entertained by your Government upon the subject 



* MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Prussia, XIV. 122. 
''MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Austria, I. 51. 



42 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

of the late French Revokition. At a moment so critical in the 
affairs of Europe, you will keep the Department advised of every 
thing of interest which transpires in Austria. 

Your despatches to No. 22 inclusive have been received. 

Upon inquiry in the proper Bureaux, it is ascertained that 
your papers and letters have been regularly transmitted from 
this Department. 

I am, Sir, respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. MARTIN.^ 

(No. 2.) Department of State, 

Washington, 5th April, 1848. 
Jacob L. Martin, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

Informal intimations had reached the Department from 
different quarters, that Pope Pius IX. would be pleased to open 
diplomatic relations wath this Government: and the President 
did not hesitate, upon my suggestion, to recommend to Congress, 
in his annual message of December last, to provide for the outfit 
and salary of a Charge d'Affaires to the Papal States. Hence 
the origin of your highly honorable and important mission. 

There is one consideration which you ought always to keep 
in view in your intercourse with the Papal authorities. Most if 
not all the Governments which have Diplomatic Representatives 
at Rome are connected with the Pope as the head of the Catholic 
Church. In this respect the Government of the United States 
occupies an entirely different position. It possesses no power 
whatever over the question of religion. All denominations of 
Christians stand on the same footing in this country, — and every 
man enjoys the inestimable right of worshipping his God ac- 
cording to the dictates of his own conscience. Your efforts, 
therefore, will be devoted exclusively to the cultivation of the 
most friendly civil relations with the Papal Government, and to 
the extension of the commerce between the two countries. You 
will carefully avoid even the appearance of interfering in 



^ MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Papal States, I. 3. 



1848] TO MR. MARTIN 43 

ecclesiastical questions, whether these relate to the United States 
or any other portion of the world. It might be proper, should you 
deem it advisable, to make these views known, on some suitable 
occasion, to the Papal Government; so that there may be no 
mistake or misunderstanding on this subject. 

The President and people of the United States have ob- 
served, with great satisfaction, the wise and judicious measures 
of the Pope to reform ancient abuses in his Government, and 
promote the welfare of his people. Whilst our established policy 
renders it impossible that we should interfere with the forms 
of government or the domestic institutions of other independent 
States, the American people can never be indifferent to the cause 
of constitutional freedom and liberal reform in any portion of 
the world. 

We have watched with anxiety the course of Pius IX. in 
the difficult and dangerous position of a reformer in Italy; and 
we believe it has thus far been marked with consummate wisdom 
and prudence. Firm, without rashness, — liberal, without pro- 
ceeding too rapidly to results which might endanger his final 
success, we ardently hope that he may be the chosen instrument 
of Providence to accomplish the political regeneration of his 
country. The cordial sympathy and the kindest wishes of the 
President and people of the United States are enlisted in his 
favor. 

In remodelling and liberalising his own Government within 
his own States, the Pope can give no just cause of offence to any 
European Power. The Papal States and the other independent 
sovereignties of Italy have the inherent right to reform their 
institutions and improve the condition of their people without 
the interference of any foreign Power. It belongs to them and 
their people alone to decide what reforms are practicable and 
are best adapted to secure the liberty, prosperity, and union of 
Italy. You will take with you to Rome a copy of my despatch 
to Mr. Rush of the 31st ultimo, in which the views of the Presi- 
dent on this subject are more fully developed. 

Our direct relations with the Papal States can only be of a 
commercial character. The spirit of reform which is now abroad 
in Italy will doubtless lead to the removal or reduction of those 
ancient restrictions upon trade which are opposed to the genius 
of the age and the true interests of the people. We have learned 
already that a more liberal commercial policy begins to pervade 
Italy. On this subject you are instructed to report to the De- 



44 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

partment the most full and accurate information which you can 
obtain. What is the rate of duties imposed in the Papal States 
on our cotton, rice, tobacco, grain, and other productions ? What 
is the amount of American productions annually consumed in 
these States? What measures would you suggest to increase 
the navigation and commerce between the two countries ? Have 
any of the States of Italy united or do they propose to unite in 
a Commercial League, and what is the character and constitution 
of such league? Will it have power to conclude commercial 
Treaties with Foreign nations? In short, we desire all the in- 
formation you can procure relative to the best mode of increas- 
ing our commerce, not only with the Papal, but with the other 
independent States of Northern Italy. The President desires to 
conclude commercial Treaties with the Papal States separately, 
or with the Commercial League of which they may form a part : 
and only awaits the necessary information to confer upon you 
full instructions and powers for this purpose. 

You will repair to your post and enter upon the duties of 
your mission with as little delay as may be practicable. 

I am, Sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan.^ 



^ In connection with the foregoing instruction, the following letter to 
Mr. Buchanan from Mr, Brown, United States consul at Rome, is of interest. 
The original is among the Buchanan Papers, Historical Society of 
Pennsylvania. 

Private. 

Rome ist June 1847. 

U. S. Consulate. 
Hon. James Buchanan 

Dr. Sir: You may recollect that some time since I informed you that 
on several occasions persons holding high official stations in the Papal Govt, 
had expressed to me a desire that diplomatic relations might be established 
between the U. States & the Papal Govt., on a footing similar to those which 
exist between the Papal States & countries where the Romish Religion is 
not the prevalent sect: and amongst these the present Cardinal-Secretary 
of State Gizzi. 

On the occasion of my first presentation to the present Pope several 
months ago, being alone with the Pontiff, His Holiness took the opportunity 
to express the same idea. 

My replies, in every case, were general & cautious ; as I conceived it to 
be no part of my business to say any thing from which the Papal Court 
might draw the slightest conclusion favourable or unfavourable to their 
wishes. 



v. \ 3 






Of 



1848] ^--S^iiLESEii^^ ^^- LEAL 45 

TO MR. LEAL/ 

Department of State, 

Washington^ 6th April, 1848. 
To Senhor Felippe Jose Pereira Leal, 
&c. &c. &c. 
The Undersigned, Secretary of State of the United States, 
has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the note of Mr. Leal, 
Charge d' Affaires of His Majesty the Emperor of Brazil, of 
the 4th ult., requesting the delivery of Domingo Jose da Costa 
Florim, who, after conviction of the crime of embezzlement on 
the 30th of January, 1846, escaped from the House of Correc- 
tion at Rio de Janeiro, and, as has been ascertained, is now resid- 
ing in the City of Baltimore under a feigned name. Mr. Leal's 
note is accompanied by a copy of a Circular under date the 4th 
of February, 1847, addressed by the Department of Foreign 
Affairs of Brazil to the Diplomatic Agents of that Empire 



I received the other day the enclosed letter, which it occurred to me, it 
might be well enough to send you, as it shews the views of Monsignore 
Corboli, who is the Acting Secy, of State in case of the sickness or absence 
of Cardinal Gizzi, and also of Monsignore Zamboni, the writer of the letter, 
who is a Bishop & holds a situation in the Dept. of Foreign Affairs. 

I presume one reason why the Papal Court is desirous to establish 
Diplomatic relations with our Govt, to be the growing power of the U. States, 
& the high rank we hold in the scale of Nations ; and the increasing interest 
which Statesmen on the Continent take in the progress of our liberal 
institutions. 

A new Era may literally be said to have commenced here ; a desire 
certainly exists to improve the condition of the people, & a project, I am 
informed, is on foot & under the consideration of the Govt, here, to establish 
Evening Schools for the instruction in the simplest Elements of those in 
the country & in the cities, whose daily avocations allow them no other 
time for that purpose. 

I did not in two letters which I lately took leave to address to you, 
refer to the subject matter of this letter because it seems to me generally 
to be most expedient & convenient not to advert in the same letter to subjects 
which are totally distinct. 

I have the honor to be Dr. Sir v/ith the greatest respect & esteem 
Your most obt. & very humble Servant 

Nicholas Brown 
U. S. Consul, Rome. 

P. S. I need scarcely add that this letter is to yourself individually: 
tho' the subject matter and the enclosed letter may be communicated to 
whomsoever you may think necessary. 

' MSS. Department of State, Notes to Brazilian Legation, VI. 75- 



46 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

abroad, stating the views of the Brazilian Government upon the 
subject of the mutual extradition of fugitives from justice, and 
the conditions upon which that government will itself make such 
extradition. 

The Undersigned has submitted Mr. Leal's communication 
to the President, and has received his directions to reply to the 
same. 

Alost of the sentiments expressed in the Circular of the 
Brazilian Foreign Office, above referred to, must meet the appro- 
bation of all enlightened Governments. That document is also 
entirely correct in saying that there is no uniform practice among 
nations in regard to extradition. This diversity, however, does 
not spring from any difference of opinion as to the injury which 
flagrant offences inflict upon society, or as to the necessity of 
punishing the offenders. In the United States, Congress have 
never thought proper to pass any law authorizing the President 
or any other authority to deliver up fugitives from the justice of 
other countries; and it follows as a necessary consequence that 
no power exists in our country capable of performing this act, 
unless by virtue of a Treaty stipulation. Great Britain and 
France are the only two nations with which we now have 
Treaties of extradition, and these, as Mr. Leal is aware, are of 
recent origin and are carefully restricted in their provisions. 

In these Treaties, extreme care has been observed in speci- 
fying the offences with which the persons demanded have been 
charged, in excluding those of a political character, and in retain- 
ing jurisdiction over the accused party until the moment of his 
surrender. The Treaty with France alone stipulates for the 
extradition of persons charged with the embezzlement of public 
funds. 

Under these circumstances, the President, possessing no 
power over the subject, is constrained respectfully to decline a 
compliance with the request of the Brazilian Government as com- 
municated by Mr. Leal, for the delivery of the convict, Domingo 
Jose da Costa Florim. 

The Undersigned avails himself of this occasion to offer to 
Mr. Leal renewed assurances of his very distinguished con- 
sideration. 

James Buchanan. 



1848] TO NEW YORK AND VERMONT 47 

TO MR. RUSH/ 

No. 14. Department of State, 

Washington, 6th April, 1848. 
HoNBLE. Richard Rush, 

Sir: I seize the last moment before closing the mail for 
the New York steamer of the 8th to inform you that Joint 
Resolutions " tendering the congratulations of the American to 
the French people," upon the success of their late glorious revolu- 
tion, have passed the Senate this afternoon by an unanimous 
vote. All previous orders of that body were dispensed with 
this morning, without a single negative, for the purpose of 
considering these resolutions, and the result is but an echo of the 
voice of the American people in favor of the French Republic. 
The resolutions will be communicated to the House of Repre- 
sentatives to-morrow, where I anticipate for them an enthusiastic 
reception. I think that by the next steamer I shall transmit you 
resolutions upon this subject passed by both Houses of Congress 
and approved by the President of the United States. 

I enclose you a few copies of the extra " Union," containing 
the President's message, your despatch, &c. 
Yours very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 



TO THE GOVERNORS OF NEW YORK 
AND VERMONT.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 7th April, 1848. 
His Excellency John Young, 

Governor of the state of New York, Albany. 
His Excellency the Governor of the state of Vermont, 
Montpelier. 
I have the honor herewith to transmit to your Excellency 
a copy of a note and accompanying memorial, recently received 
at this Department from the Charge d'Affaires of Her Britannic 
Alajesty in this city, remonstrating on behalf of certain in- 
habitants of Canada against the placing of any impediment in a 
position to interrupt the navigation of the waters connecting 



^ MSS. Department of State, Instructions, France, XV. 69 ; S. Ex. Doc. 
53. 30 Cong. I Sess. 16. 

'MSS. Department of State, 36 Domestic Letters, 405. 



48 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

Missisquoi Bay with the river RicheHeu. Although the Federal 
Government does not admit the right of the Canadian authorities 
to interfere in this matter, yet I have deemed it due to our 
amicable relations with Great Britain to transmit this application 
to Your Excellency. This has been done under the conviction it 
will receive that degree of consideration to which it may be justly 
entitled — proceeding, as it does, from the subjects of a friendly 
power in a neighboring province. 

I have the honor to be, with great respect. 

Your Excellency's obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. CARVALLO.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 7th April, 1848. 
To Senor Don Manuel Carvallo^ &c. &c. &c. 

The Undersigned, Secretary of State of the United States, 
has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the note under date 
the 28th ult : from Mr. Carvallo, Envoy Extraordinary and Min- 
ister Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Chile, requesting an 
answer to his memorial in the case of the Macedonian. 

In reply, the Undersigned has the honor to acquaint Mr. 
Carvallo, that the unreasonable delay which has already taken 
place in furnishing that answer has not been occasioned by any 
reluctance on the part of the Undersigned to decide the case upon 
its merits as first presented by the claimant and by the Chilean 
Government respectively; but by a desire on the part of the 
former to offer further testimony and a counter statement, to 
which desire the Undersigned deemed it his duty under the 
circumstances to yield. He regrets to inform Mr. Carvallo that 
the counter statement has not yet been received, but as ample 
time has now been allowed to prepare it, Mr. Carvallo may be 
assured that a response to his memorial shall not be delayed any 
longer for that cause, but shall be communicated to him as soon 
as the Undersigned can examine the testimony now on file in this 
Department. 

The Undersigned avails himself of this occasion to offer 
to Mr. Carvallo renewed assurances of his very distinguished 
consideration. James Buchanan. 



^MSS. Department of State. Notes to Chilean Legation, VI. 7. 



1848] TO MR. SMITH 49 

TO MR. YOUNG.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, April 12, 1848. 
McClintock Young, Esq., 

Acting Secretary of the Treasury. 
Sir: 

I have received your note of the nth instant, and have to 
acquaint you that a copy of your letter of the 26th of January 
last, to this Department, requesting its intervention with the 
British legation here to obtain permission for the passage of the 
iron steamers, the " Dallas " and the " Jefferson," from Lakes 
Erie and Ontario, by way of the Welland Canal and the river 
St. Law:rence, to the Atlantic ocean, was transmitted to Mr. 
Crampton, the Charge d' Affaires of Her Britannic Majesty on 
the 27th of the same month; who, under date of the 25th of 
February, acknowledged the receipt of Mr. Buchanan's com- 
munication, and enclosed a transcript of the reply of the Earl of 
Elgin and Kincardine to the application which Mr. Crampton 
had made on the subject. His Lordship states that, with the 
concurrence of the Provincial Executive Council, he had " recom- 
mended the application to the favorable consideration of Her 
Majesty's Government, with whom the final decision rests, and 
also that the usual canal charges should not in this case be 
exacted." 

I am, &c., 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. SMITH.^ 



Department of State, 

Washington, 24th April, 1848. 
To THE Hon. Truman Smith, 

of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, 
House of Representatives. 
Sir: 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter 
of the 19th Instant requesting a copy of the letter of appoint- 



*MSS. Department of State, 36 Domestic Letters, 406. 
" MSS. Department of State, Report Book, VI. 249. 
Vol. VIII— 4 



50 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

ment and of the Report of Mr. John Hogan, who was sent to 
the Island of St. Domingo as an Agent of this Government in 
1845, and, also, requesting any other information in the posses- 
sion of this Department concerning the service performed by 
him in that capacity. In reply, I have the honor to transmit a 
copy of his instructions and of the correspondence between him 
and this Department relative to his accounts. The original of 
his Report upon the subject of his mission, with the accompany- 
ing documents, was some time since communicated to Mr. Man- 
gum of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, who 
will no doubt afford you an opportunity to inspect it. 
I have the honor to be, &c. 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. APPLETON.^ 

Personal Instructions. Department of State, 

Washington, 25th April, 1848. 
To John Appleton, Esquire, 

Sir: The President, by and with the advice and consent 
of the Senate, having appointed you Charge d'Affaires of the 
United States to the Republic of Bolivia, you will herewith 
receive the following documents, which will be useful or neces- 
sary in the discharge of the duties of your mission. 

1. Your Commission. 

2. A letter accrediting you to the Minister for Foreign 
Affairs of Bolivia. 

3. A special passport. 

4. A Full Power, authorizing you to conclude a Treaty of 
Commerce with that Republic. 

5. Your General Instructions. 

6. Printed personal instructions. 

7. A list of the Diplomatic Agents and Consuls of the 
United States abroad. 

8. A Circular relative to the contingent expenses of the 
Legations of the United States in foreign Countries. 

9. A Circular relative to the draughts of Diplomatic Agents. 

10. A Circular relative to the salaries of Diplomatic Agents 
absent from their posts with permission. 



^ MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Bolivia, I. i. 



1848] TO MR. CARVALLO 51 

Your salary as fixed by law will be at the rate of forty-five 
hundred dollars a year, and you will be entitled to an outfit equal 
to a year's salary, and to an allowance equal to a quarter's salary 
towards defraying the expenses of your return to the United 
States on the conclusion of your mission. Pursuant to a general 
rule, the salary of a diplomatic agent begins on the day of his 
departure from his place of residence to proceed on his mission. 
In your case it will begin this day, when it is understood you are 
to set out for your home in Maine, for the purpose of making 
preparations for your departure from the United States. 

You will draw on this Department for it, as it may become 
due, and likewise for the contingent expenses of the Legation, 
which must not exceed five hundred dollars a year without special 
authority. 

I am, etc., 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. CARVALLO.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 27th April, 1848. 
To Senor Don Manuel Carvallo, &c. &c. &c. 

Sir : I have the honor to inform you that the claimants in 
the case of the Macedonian have at last presented their counter 
statement and the further proof in its support. Believing that 
it would be impracticable for me compatibly with my other duties 
to examine the testimony on both sides as carefully as the im- 
portance of the subject demands, the President has directed the 
papers to be referred to Ransom H. Gillett, Esquire, the Solicitor 
of the Treasury, for his report. I have no doubt that Mr. Gil- 
lett will be happy to show you the counter statement, and to 
receive from you any explanations which may be necessary to 
enable him to arrive at a just decision. 

I avail myself of this occasion. Sir, to offer to you renewed 
assurances of my very high consideration. 

James Buchanan. 



^ MSS. Department of State, Notes to Chilean Legation, VI. 8. 



52 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO MR. CAZENOVE/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 27th April, 1848. 
A. C. Cazenove, Esore., 

Swiss Consul, Alexandria, Va. 
Sir: I have the honor to inform you that I have just re- 
ceived the Convention of last May with the Swiss Confederation, 
which has been approved by the Senate of the United States ; and 
to add that I shall be happy to receive you at the Department 
of State, on Wednesday next, the 2nd proximo, for the purpose 
of making an exchange of the ratifications. 
I am. Sir, with great consideration, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. GILLETT.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, April 27, 1848. 

Sir : By the President's direction, I herewith communicate 
to you a memorial with the accompanying documents from 
Thomas H. Perkins, of Boston, requesting the interposition of 
this Government for the purpose of recovering from that of Chile 
indemnification for the seizure, in the valley of Sitana in Peru, in 
May, 1 82 1, by an officer acting under the authority of that 
Government, of a quantity of treasure alleged to have been the 
property of the said Perkins and other citizens of the United 
States — a translation of the memorial and the principal papers 
to which it refers, addressed to this Department by Mr. Carvallo, 
the Minister from Chile here, in opposition to the claim — and 
the original rejoinder of the claimants, with the further proof 
presented in their behalf. 

The purpose of this communication is to obtain your opinion 
on the point as to whether the property in whole or in part did 
in fact belong to citizens of the United States, and if in part 
only, how much thereof was theirs and how much the property 



*MSS. Department of State, Notes to German States, VI. 183. 

^MSS. Department of State, 2,^ Domestic Letters, 416; S. Ex. Doc. 58, 
35 Cong. I Sess. 302. As to this case, see Moore's International Arbitrations, 
11- 1455- 



1848] TO MR. RUSH 53 

of subjects of other Governments, as established by the evidence. 
As the Chilean Minister has been promised an early decision 
of the case, your attention to it as soon as may be convenient is 
respectfully requested. He has been informed of the reference 
to you. Similar information has been conveyed to Mr. J. S. 
Pendleton, who is the representative of the claimants in this city. 

I am, &c., 

James Buchanan. 
Ransom H. Gillett, Esq., 
Solicitor of the Treasury. 



TO MR. RUSH.^ 



(No. 19.) Department of State, 

Washington, 29th April, 1848. 
Richard Rush, Esqre., 
&c., &c., &c. 

Sir: In writing the postscript to my letter No. 12, of the 
31st ultimo, in which a suggestion is made that the establishment 
of a Republican Government in France might '' prove favorable 
to the removal of unwise restrictions in her trade " with the 
United States, perhaps the article which was most prominently 
present to my mind at the moment was that of tobacco. The 
records of the correspondence between this Department and the 
Legation at Paris will inform you how onerously the French 
Government monopoly has weighed upon the agriculture of our 
country engaged in the production of this important article, as 
well as upon our commerce. The present would seem to be an 
auspicious moment to remove or modify this monopoly, and to 
place the trade in tobacco on the same footing with that in other 
articles. That I am not alone in this opinion, the enclosed copy 
of a letter addressed to me on the 17th instant, by a number of 
intelligent merchants of Baltimore, largely interested as receivers 
and shippers of American leaf tobacco, will fully prove. I com- 
mend this paper to your consideration. 

I take pleasure in directing your early attention to this 
subject; and feel assured that your most earnest endeavors will 
not be spared in urging upon the existing Government, at the 
proper time, and on the first suitable occasion, of both which 



*MSS. Department of State, Instructions, France, XV. 72. 



54 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

your official position near it constitutes you the best judge, the 
removal of unwise and impolitic restrictions upon this trade, and 
the adoption of a more liberal policy in regard to it than that 
which has so long existed in France. 
I am, Sir, with great respect, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



MESSAGE OF PRESIDENT POLK 

ON YUCATAN.i 

[April 29, 1848.] 
To THE Senate and House of Representatives of the United States : 

I submit for the consideration of Congress several communications re- 
ceived at the Department of State from Mr. Justo Sierra, commissioner of 
Yucatan, and also a communication from the governor of that state, repre- 
senting the condition of extreme suffering to which their country has been 
reduced by an insurrection of the Indians within its limits, and asking the 
aid of the United States. 

These communications present a case of human suffering and misery 
which cannot fail to excite the sympathies of all civilized nations. From 
these and other sources of information, it appears that the Indians of Yucatan 
are waging a war of extermination against the white race. In this civil war, 
they spare neither age nor sex, but put to death, indiscriminately, all who 
fall within their power. The inhabitants, panic-stricken, and destitute of 
arms, are flying before their savage pursuers towards the coast, and their 
expulsion from their country, or their extermination, would seem to be 
inevitable, unless they can obtain assistance from abroad. 

In this condition, they have, through their constituted authorities, im- 
plored the aid of this government, to save them from destruction, offering, 
in case this should be granted, to transfer the " dominion and sovereignty 
of the peninsula " to the United States. Similar appeals for aid and protec- 
tion have been made to the Spanish and the English governments. 

Whilst it is not my purpose to recommend the adoption of any measure 
with a view to the acquisition of the " dominion and sovereignty " over 
Yucatan, yet, according to our established policy, we could not consent to a 
transfer of this " dominion and sovereignty," either to Spain, Great Britain, 
or any other European power. In the language of President Monroe, in his 
message of December, 1823, " we should consider any attempt on their part 
to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to 
our peace and safety." In my annual message of December, 1845, I declared 
that " near a quarter of a century ago the principle was distinctly announced 
to the world, in the annual mes^sage of one of my predecessors, that * the 
American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have 
assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for 
future colonization by any European power.' This principle will apply with 
greatly increased force, should any European power attempt to establish 



^ S. Ex. Doc. 40, 30 Cong, i Sess. i. 



1848] MESSAGE OF THE PRESIDENT 55 

any new colony in North America. In the existing circumstances of the 
world, the present is deemed a proper occasion to reiterate and reaffirm 
the principle avowed by Mr. Monroe, and to state my cordial concurrence 
in its Avisdom and sound policy. The re-assertion of this principle, especially 
in reference to North America, is at this day but the promulgation of a policy 
which no European power should cherish the disposition to resist. Existing 
rights of every European nation should be respected; but it is due alike to 
our safety and our interests that the efficient protection of our laws should 
be extended over our whole territorial limits, and that it should be distinctly 
announced to the world as our settled policy, that no future European colony 
or dominion shall, with our consent, be planted or established on any part 
of the North American continent." 

Our own security requires that the established policy thus announced 
should guide our conduct, and this applies with great force to the peninsula 
of Yucatan. It is situate in the Gulf of Mexico, on the North American 
continent, and, from its vicinity to Cuba, to the capes of Florida, to New 
Orleans, and, indeed, to our whole southwestern coast, it would be dan- 
gerous to our peace and security if it should become a colony of any 
European nation. 

We have now authentic information that, if the aid asked from the 
United States be not granted, such aid will probably be obtained from some 
European power which may hereafter assert a claim to " dominion and 
sovereignty " over Yucatan. 

Our existing relations with Yucatan are of a peculiar character, as will 
be perceived from the note of the Secretary of State to their commissioner, 
dated on the 24th of December last, a copy of which is herewith transmitted, 
Yucatan has never declared her independence, and we treated her as a State 
of the Mexican republic. For this reason we have never officially received 
her commissioner ; but, whilst this is the case, we have, to a considerable 
extent, recognized her as a neutral in our war with Mexico. Whilst still 
considering Yucatan as a portion of Mexico, if we had troops to spare for 
this purpose, I would deem it proper, during the continuance of the war with 
Mexico, to occupy and hold military possession of her territory, and to 
defend the white inhabitants against the incursions of the Indians, in the 
same way that we have employed our troops in other States of the Mexican 
republic in our possession, in repelling the attacks of savages upon the 
inhabitants, who have maintained their neutrality in the war. But, unfor- 
tunately, we cannot, at the present time, without serious danger, withdraw 
our forces from other portions of the Mexican territory now in our occupa- 
tion, and send them to Yucatan. All that can be done, under existing cir- 
cumstances, is to employ our naval forces in the Gulf, not required at other 
points, to afford them relief; but it is not to be expected that any adequate 
protection can thus be afforded, as the operations of such naval forces must, 
of necessity, be confined to the coast. 

I have considered it proper to communicate the information contained 
in the accompanying correspondence, and I submit to the wisdom of Congress 
to adopt such measures as, in their judgment, may be expedient, to prevent 
Yucatan from becoming a colony of any European power, which, in no 
event, could be permitted by the United States; and, at the same time, to 
rescue the white race from extermination or expulsion from their country. 

James K, Polk. 
Washington, April 29, 1848. 



56 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO MR. WALKER/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, ist May, 1848. 
Hon. R. J. Walker, 

Secretaiy of the Treasury. 
Sir: 

The enclosed copy of a note just received from the Charge 
d' Affaires of Her Britannic Majesty at Washington will acquaint 
you with the favorable result of the application which was made 
through this Department to the British Government in January 
last, for the passage of the revenue steamers, the " Dallas " and 
the '' Jefferson," through the Welland canal and the river St. 
Lawrence to the Atlantic ocean. 

I have the honor, &c., 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. HILLIARD.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 3rd May 1848. 
Hon. Henry W. Hilliard, 

Chairman (pro. tem.) of the Committee of 
Foreign Affairs of the H. R. 
Sir: 

I had not the honor of receiving your note of the ist 
Instant until yesterday evening, otherwise it should have received 
an earlier answer. 

Whilst it would afford me very great pleasure to give you 
satisfactory answers to your several interrogations in regard to 
Yucatan, I fear I cannot add very much to the information on 
this subject contained in the President's Message of the 29th 
Ultimo and the accompanying correspondence. 

You enquire — i. '' Is Yucatan to be regarded by our Gov- 
ernment as an Independent State ? " In answer, I have the 
honor of stating, that the President never has regarded Yucatan 
as a State independent of the Mexican Republic, nor has Yucatan 
ever declared her independence. For this reason neither Mr. 



^ MSS. Department of State, 36 Domestic Letters, 419. 
^MSS. Department of State, Report Book, VI. 250. 



1848] TO MR. HILLIARD 57 

Robira, the former Commissioner from that State, nor Mr. 
Sierra, the present Commissioner, has been officially received. — 
In addition to the correspondence communicated with the Presi- 
dent's message, I transmit you copies of a note addressed by. 
this Department to the Secretary of the Navy, dated 226. Feb- 
ruary, 1847; ^^^^ ^^ the orders issued by the Secretary to Com- 
modore Conner on the 25th February of the same year. 

At the commencement of the war with Mexico, Yucatan 
was treated by this Government as a neutral State. The decree 
of her extraordinary Congress of the 25th August, 1846, changed 
this neutrality into open war. In the prosecution of this war, 
the port of Laguna and the Island of Carmen on which it is 
situated were, on the 21st of December, 1846, captured by our 
Naval Forces, and have ever since been held by the United States. 
For the reasons which prevented the President from restoring 
this port and Island to Yucatan when she re-assumed her neutral 
position, I refer you respectfully to my note to Mr. Sierra of the 
24th December last. Our continued possession of these places 
has proved highly advantageous to the people of Yucatan; be- 
cause it has afforded them a place of refuge from the fury of 
the Indians. 

2. You ask : " How will our relations with Yucatan be 
affected by the ratification of the Treaty of peace between the 
United States and Mexico which it is understood is awaiting the 
action of the Mexican Government?" 

Yucatan, being regarded by the President as a Mexican 
State, tho' now neutral in the existing war, is embraced in the 
Treaty of Peace with the other Mexican States. If peace were 
concluded, however, Mexico would not be able to afford the 
white inhabitants of Yucatan the prompt and efficient aid neces- 
sary to save them from destruction. Indeed, the neutral posi- 
tion which Yucatan has maintained during the greater part of 
the existing war might indispose Mexico to go to her relief with 
the necessary promptitude ; but yet it is not apprehended that the 
aid which we may afford to the white race of that unfortunate 
country would disturb our peaceful relations with the Mexican 
Republic, or even be the subject of complaint on the part of the 
Mexican Government. On the contrary, this could not be viewed 
by them in any other light than as a voluntary sacrifice made 
by the United States in the cause of their brethren of Spanish 
origin. 



58 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

3. " To what extent has the internal war in Yucatan been 
carried ? " 

In addition to the information upon this subject contained 
in the notes of Mr. Sierra to the Department which accompanied 
the President's message, I have the honor now to communicate 
to you copies of the despatches from Commodore Perry and 
other Naval Officers to the Navy Department. You will per- 
ceive that these despatches fully confirm the statements of Mr. 
Sierra and exhibit the wretched and helpless condition to which 
the white inhabitants are reduced. There is no further informa- 
tion on this subject of which I am aware in possession of any 
of the Executive Departments of this Government. 

4th. " What gave rise to it (the war) ? " 

This is a question to which the Department cannot furnish 
a satisfactory answer. It is presumed that the primary cause 
of the war will be found in the inveterate hostility of the Indians 
against the Spanish race. Its avowed object is the extermination 
or expulsion of this race and the re-acquisition of Indian Sov- 
ereignty over Yucatan. The Indians must have known that 
the Government of Mexico neither could nor would afford as- 
sistance to the Spanish race in Yucatan during- the continuance 
of our war with that Republic ; and this doubtless had its influence 
in causing them to seize an opportunity so favorable for the 
accomplishment of their designs. 

5. '* What are the numbers of whites? And what of the 
Indians? " 

It is impossible to ascertain either the aggregate population 
of Yucatan or the relative numbers of these two castes. Mr. 
McCulloch, in his Universal Gazetteer, a work of considerable 
character, does not pretend to state with accuracy the entire 
population of Yucatan. Adopting the conjectural estimate of 
others, he states, under the head of " Mexico," the population to 
be 570,000, and considers this to be " probably as near an 
approximation to the truth as can, at present, be arrived at," 
whilst under the head of " Yucatan " he says that " the popula- 
tion has been estimated at about 500,000." In the inaccurate 
and unsatisfactory Mexican statistics which have been published, 
any designation of the relative numbers of the white and Indian 
races has been carefully avoided; tho' it is well known that the 
latter greatly preponderates in Yucatan. 

After the receipt of your note, I sent for Mr. Sierra, who 



1848] TO THE PRESIDENT 59 

informs me that an imperfect census was taken of the population 
of Yucatan in 1844, and that the whole number of its inhabitants 
was 700,000. Of these from 400 to 450,000 were of pure Indian 
blood, about 80,000 of the mixed race between the white and the 
Indian (Mestizoes), and the remainder were of the white race. 
Mr. Sierra speaks from memory and is not in possession of any 
documents relating to this Census. Since the commencement of 
the war a great number of the whites have been killed 1>y the 
Indians ; and according to Mr. Sierra's estimate, more than fifty 
thousand of them have been compelled to emigrate to neighboring 
countries. 

Yours very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 



TO THE PRESIDENT.^ 

[May 5, 1848.] 
The Secretary of State, to whom was referred the resolu- 
tion of the Senate of the 4th instant, requesting the President 
to communicate to the Senate all the correspondence between 
the Secretary of State and Don Justo Sierra, the representative 
of the government of Yucatan, if not incompatible with th^ pub- 
lic interest, has the honor to lay before the President the papers 
mentioned in the subjoined list, which are translations of all 
notes from Mr. Sierra or his government to this department, and 
a copy of all notes from the department to him, (excepting those 
inviting him to personal interviews,) not communicated with the 
President's message to Congress of the 29th ultimo. 

The Secretary of State would respectfully observe that por- 
tions of Mr. Sierra's note of the 15th February, 1848, and the 
whole of his note of the 24th February, 1848, are of such a 
character that it was considered doubtful whether, at this time, 
they ought to be published. Copies of them, although prepared, 
were not transmitted to Congress with your message of the 29th 
ultimo, upon the request of Mr. Sierra himself, after consulta- 
tion with that gentleman. 

James Buchanan. 
To THE President of the United States. 



* S. Ex. Doc. 42, 30 Cong, i Sess. i. This document contains the Presi- 
dent's message transmitting the report to the Senate, on the same day. 



60 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO MR. EVERETT/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 6th May, 1848. 
Hon. Edward Everett, 
Cambridge, Mass. 
Dear Sir: 

I have just received your letter of the 3d inst., relative to 
the erection of a monument over the spot where the remains of 
your late brother are interred. The enclosed copies of a letter 
addressed to me by Dr. Parker, and of my reply, will fully 
acquaint you with the measures adopted by the Department on 
the subject. It is to be apprehended, from the lapse of time 
since the latter communication was despatched, that it is now too 
late to effect your wish regarding the proposed inscription for the 
monument. Had the application reached me at an earlier date, 
I would most cheerfully have complied with your request. The 
whole is however now in the hands of Dr. Parker, on whose 
favorable dispositions, should you think it expedient to address 
him on the subject, you may implicitly rely. 

I am, &c., 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. TOD.^ 



No. 10. Department of State, 

Washington, 8th May, 1848. 
To David Tod, Esquire, 

etc., etc., etc.. 
Sir: — 

Your despatches to No. 19, inclusive, have been received. 
In your No. 16 of the 30th December, last, you say that the Min- 
ister for Foreign Affairs asks for further delay upon the sub- 
ject of the claims of citizens of the United States against the 
Brazilian Government, until he shall have heard of the result of 
new instructions which had been given to Mr. Leal in regard to 
the case of Lieutenant Davis and the seamen of the Saratoga. 
You add that vou were not advised as to the character of these 



^MSS. Department of State, 36 Domestic Letters, 423. 
^MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Brazil, XV. 164. 



1848] TO MR. CAMPBELL 61 

new instructions. The Department is equally uninformed. No 
communication upon the subject has been received from Mr. Leal, 
and he says that no fresh instructions in regard to it have reached 
him. Under these circumstances, that government cannot, it is 
conceived, with propriety allege a similar excuse for delay in 
answer to another application for redress, which you will prefer 
at the earliest suitable opportunity after you shall have received 
this instruction. 

I am, Sir, very respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



MESSAGE OF PRESIDENT POLK 

ON A TREATY WITH AUSTRIA. i 

[May 9, 1848.] 
To THE Senate of the United States : 

I herewith communicate to the Senate, for their consideration, with a 
view to its ratification, a convention for the extension of certain stipulations,' 
contained in the treaty of commerce and navigation of August 27, 1829, 
between the United States and Austria, concluded and signed in this city 
on the 8th instant by the respective plenipotentiaries. 

James K. Polk. 
Washington, May 9th, 1848. 



TO MR. CAMPBELL.^ 

Dept. of State, 

II May, 1848. 
R. B. Campbell Esq. 

U. S. Consul, Havana. 
Sir, 

I transmit herewith a copy of a letter addressed to this Dept. 
by John O' Sullivan, Esqr., wherein it is stated that " a man 
claiming to be a free born American is now, or was recently, 
held as a slave in the Island of Cuba." Should there be a just 
foundation for this statement, the facts alleged in the communi- 
cation of Mr. O'S., and the name of the person said to be held 
in slavery, therein furnished, will, it is presumed, enable you to 



^Senate Executive Journal, VII. 411. 

''Relating to disposal of property, etc. 

'MSS. Department of State, Despatches to Consuls, X. 466. 



62 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

identify the individual, without difficulty. In such event, I have 
to request your prompt & earnest investigation of the matter, 
involving so gross a violation of law & humanity, & appealing 
so forcibly to this Government for its immediate interposition. 
I entertain not a doubt that the Authorities of the Island will 
send you every aid & support which honor & good faith so 
imperiously demand at their hands. What measure of satisfac- 
tion for the grievous wrongs of so many years (should they be 
established) ought to accompany the liberation of the individual, 
is referred to your judgment after you shall have obtained a 
knowledge of all the circumstances. Should this become neces- 
sary, you will promote the institution of such legal proceedings 
as may be best calculated to do justice to the unfortunate indi- 
vidual who has been held so long in bondage. I have to request 
that you will consider the name of Mr. O' Sullivan communicated 
strictly in confidence, and that you will report to the Department 
on this matter as early as practicable. 

I am, Sir, &c. 

James Buchanan. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, nth May, 1848. 
To THE President of the Senate : 

The Secretary of State, in answer to a resolution of the 
Senate of the 2d of February last, referring to him '' the me- 
morial of A. A. Frazier, for himself and Alvin Baker, owners of 
the Brig Douglass, praying indemnity for losses caused by the 
alleged wrongful seizure " of that vessel '' by a British Cruiser," 
and directing him ^' to communicate to the Senate the originals 
or copies of all depositions and other documents and papers in his 
Department relating to said case, And likewise such corres- 
pondence as may have been had with the British Government, 
or its officers, and our own, in relation thereto, which in his 
opinion may be made public consistently with the public inter- 
ests," &c., respectfully reports : That he has caused a careful 
examination to be made of the files of this Department, from 



^MSS. Department of State, Report Book, VI. 253; S. Ex. Doc. 44, 30 
Cong. I Sess. i. 



1848] TO THE SENATE 63 

which it appears that all documents, papers, and correspondence 
in its possession, relating to the case of the Douglass, have already 
been published in two Executive documents: the first document, 
No. 115, communicated to the House of Representatives on the 
3rd of March, 1841, and the second, Senate Document No. 377, 
of June 6th, 1846. 

The Secretary of State has the honor of transmitting to the 
Senate, for their convenience, a memorandum containing par- 
ticular references to the pages of the printed documents in which 
the papers relating to the Douglass will be found. He would 
transmit the original papers, as this seems to have been contem- 
plated by the Senate; but many of them are contained in bound 
volumes, which renders this almost impracticable. 

The Secretary of State is, also, instructed to " make a report 
on said case as presented to his Department." On this branch 
of the Resolution he would respectfully observe, that before he 
came into the Department, the claim which had been urged by 
this Government in behalf of Messrs. Frazier and Baker against 
the Government of Great Britain for indemnity on account of 
the capture and detention of the Brig '' Douglass," in October, 
1839, had been abandoned; and it has been impossible for him, 
consistently with the performance of other duties, to give the 
subject such a thorough examination as he could have desired. 
He is very clearly of opinion, however, that the " Douglass " was 
captured and detained in violation of the law of Nations and the 
rights of the American Flag; and it was therefore the duty of 
this Government to hold that of Great Britain responsible. In- 
deed the illegality of this capture and detention has been admitted 
by the British Government. Whether the Government of the 
United States, by abandoning the claim for indemnity against 
the British Government, has under all the circumstances rendered 
itself responsible to the claimants, and, if so, what ought to be 
the amount of this indemnity, are questions on which, under his 
construction of the Resolution, he is not required to express an 
opinion. Indeed these questions would seem more appropriately 
to belong to the Legislative than to the Executive Branch of the 
Government. Respectfully submitted, 

James Buchanan. 

P. S. — The memorial is herewith returned. 



64 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO MR. SULLIVAN ET AL/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, nth May, 1848. 
Joseph Sullivan & Sons, 
C. R. Hardesty, &c., 8zc. 

Baltimore, Md. 
Gentlemen : 

Your recent letter, requesting such notice on the part of 
this Department as will lead to the adoption and establishment 
by the different Governments of Europe, and especially that of 
France, of a more liberal policy in regard to American tobacco, 
has been duly received. The subject is one which had already 
claimed my notice ; yet in accordance with your wishes the atten- 
tion of our Minister at Paris has been particularly invited to it, 
and he has at the same time been furnished with proper instruc- 
tions and a copy of your letter to me of the 17th ultimo. 
I am. Gentlemen, &c., 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. LIVINGSTON.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 13th May, 1848. 
To Vanbrugh Livingston, &c. &c. &c. 

Sir : You are the first Diplomatic agent which this govern- 
ment has appointed to reside at the Capital of Ecuador. The 
importance of your mission is enhanced by this circumstance. 
The impression which your personal conduct and character may 
make upon the authorities of that government will have great 
influence, not only upon the result of your official proceedings, 
but upon the reputation of your country. You will omit no 
proper opportunity to declare that our delay in establishing a 
regular mission at Quito ought not to be imputed to any want of 
interest in the welfare of Ecuador as an independent American 
Republic. On the contrary, we have always felt the liveliest sym- 
pathy with her fortunes as well as with those of our other Sister 
Republics of this hemisphere, and have expressed this sentiment, 
and acted in accordance with it, upon every suitable occasion. 



^ MSS. Department of State, 36 Domestic Letters, 424. 
^MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Ecuador, I. 3. 



1848] TO MR. LIVINGSTON 65 

The military and naval expedition which General Flores, 
formerly President of Ecuador, organised a year or two since in 
Europe for the supposed purpose of recovering his authority, 
connived at as it was believed to have been by some of the 
monarchical governments of that quarter, created great alarm, 
not only in Ecuador itself but in the neighboring Republics, from 
the apprehension that its ulterior were more extensive and im- 
portant than its ostensible designs. It was fortunately arrested, 
however, before its departure. Senor Don Manuel Bustamente, 
the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ecuador, addressed to this 
Department an interesting communication upon the subject under 
date the 26th November, 1846, which was received about the 
same time that intelligence of the failure of the expedition reached 
this City. Owing to this circumstance, the note was not formally 
answered, as any proceedings of this government with reference 
to the expedition were rendered unnecessary. General Castilla, 
the President of Peru, also made an informal application in 
regard to it to Mr. Prevost, the Consul of the United States 
at Lima. The accompanying extract from a letter of this De- 
partment to Mr. Prevost embodies the views of the President 
relative to the expedition, and you may at a proper time com- 
municate the same to the Ecuadorian Minister for Foreign 
Affairs. 

You will also assure him that the intervention or dictation, 
direct or indirect, of European governments in the affairs of 
the Independent States of the American Hemisphere will never 
be viewed with indifference by the government of the United 
States. On the contrary, all the moral means, at least, within 
their power, shall upon every occasion be employed to discourage 
and arrest such interference. 

The commercial relations between the United States and 
Ecuador are regulated by the Treaty signed at Quito on the 
13th of June, 1839. The operation of this Treaty is believed 
to have been mutually advantageous. It is certain that this 
Department is not aware of any thing to the contrary. A part 
of your duty will be to watch over its execution by the govern- 
ment of Ecuador. Before, however, you make any applications 
to that Government on behalf of our citizens who may suppose 
themselves to have been aggrieved by infractions of its provis- 
ions, you will be satisfied that they have reasonable cause for 
complaint and that they have ineffectually endeavored to obtain 
redress by means of the appropriate judicial tribunals. 

Vol. VIII— 5 



66 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

When the RepubHc of Columbia ^ was dismembered, at the 
close of the year 1829, citizens of the United States held unsatis- 
fied claims against its government to a considerable amount. 
You will herewith receive a list of such of these claims as are 
known to the Department. There are others, in some of which 
the interposition of this government has not been asked, but where 
the parties themselves or their agents have applied directly to 
our diplomatic representatives in those countries. The claims 
in the cases of the brig Josephine and schooner Ranger were ad- 
justed by a Convention between Mr. Moore, our Minister at 
Bogota, and Mr. Vergara, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of 
Columbia, dated 25th November, 1829. Of this Convention you 
will herewith receive an authenticated copy. You will see that 
its validity was to depend upon the approbation of President 
Bolivar, who at the time of its conclusion was absent from 
Bogota. That approbation was expressed in the note of Mr. 
Caycedo to Mr. Moore, of the 5th February, 1830, of which a 
copy is likewise herewith furnished. The Convention stipulated 
for the payment of the indemnities within six months from its 
date. In consequence, however, of the dissolution of the govern- 
ment of Columbia and of other causes, the payments were not 
made as promised. Although this government has always main- 
tained that the three States of which the Republic of Columbia 
was composed are jointly and severally liable for the claims 
of our citizens against that Republic, yet, from consideration for 
the condition of those States, it was deemed advisable to reserve 
the application of this principle and to await the result of such 
arrangements as they might make among themselves for the 
adjustment of these claims. This was effected by the Treaty 
between New Granada and Venezuela of the 23d December, 
1834, which was subsequently acceded to by Ecuador. Pursuant 
to that Treaty, New Granada became responsible for fifty, Vene- 
zuela for twenty-eight and a half, and Ecuador for twenty-one 
and a half per cent, of the debts of the Republic of Columbia. 
Upon this basis New Granada and Venezuela have both paid their 
proportion of the claims in the cases of the Josephine and Ranger. 
From the terms of the Convention between Mr. Moore and Mr. 



^ This word is usually spelled " Columbia " in this instruction, a circum- 
stance no doubt due to the mistake or ignorance of the copyist. It is to be 
remembered that the records of instructions in the Department of State are 
not original records, but merely copies, in which copyists' errors are often 
manifest. 



1848] TO MR. LIVINGSTON 67 

Vergara, in connexion with those of the Treaty for the partition 
of the debts of Columbia, you will have no difificulty in computing 
the amount due by Ecuador in these two cases. The accompany- 
ing copy of a letter to this Department under date the 4th inst., 
from Mr. Toby, the President of the Insurance Company of the 
State of Pennsylvania, the party interested in the first mentioned 
claim, contains a further, and, it is not doubted, a correct state- 
ment of the amount due by Ecuador in that case. From the facts 
which have been mentioned in regard to these two claims, they 
may be said to rest upon peculiar grounds. They were presented 
to the government of Ecuador by Mr. Pickett, in 1839, after the 
signature of our Treaty with that Republic, but as his ultimate 
destination was to Lima as Charge d'Affaires of the United 
States to Peru, he probably did not deem himself warranted 
in tarrying at Quito long enough to settle them. It will conse- 
quently be your duty, as soon as may be convenient after you shall 
have been received by that government, again to invite its atten- 
tion to them and to request that prompt provision may be made 
for the payment of the amount due. The sum due by Venezuela 
in the case of the brig Morris was settled by Mr. Allen A. Hall, 
when Charge d'Affaires of the United States at Caracas. The 
particulars of the adjustment are contained in his despatch No. 
31, to this Department, of the 2nd March, 1843, ^ copy of which 
you will receive herewith. The amount due by New Granada in 
this case was determined by the Convention between Mr. Black- 
ford, when Charge d'Affaires of the United States at Bogota, 
and the Minister for foreign affairs of that Republic, a copy of 
which is also herewith communicated to you. Venezuela has 
already paid her proportion in the case of the Morris, and New 
Granada has paid hers in part. A transcript of the Convention 
between Mr. Shields, the Charge d'Affaires of the United States 
at Caracas, and Mr. Manrique, the Minister for Foreign Affairs 
of Venezuela, for the adjustment of the claim in the case of the 
brig Native, is likewise one of the accompanying papers. No 
information has been received of the acknowledgment of this 
claim by the Government of New Granada. 

In a despatch to the Department of the 3d of last month, 
Mr. Shields states that he was in the act of concluding a Con- 
vention for the adjustment of the claim in the case of the Sarah 
Wilson. A copy of this Convention shall be forwarded to you as 
soon as it is received from Mr. Shields. That gentleman and also 
Mr. Bidlack, the Charge d'Affaires of the United States at 



68 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

Bogota, will be instructed to transmit to you attested copies 
of such documentary proof as you may require and their respec- 
tive Legations may contain. These claims are of ancient date, 
and it has become necessary that they should now be adjusted. 
The Government of the United States, actuated by the most 
friendly feelings towards Ecuador, have waited long and patiently 
for their liquidation ; but the time has now arrived when we must 
insist upon prompt action. Whilst this ought to be done in a 
kind spirit, it is due to our injured citizens that you should urge 
their rights with firmness and decision. It is presumed that in 
the cases of the Josephine and Ranger there can be no pretext for 
further delay. The other two Republics which constituted parts 
of Colombia have already paid their proportions of these claims ; 
and it remains for Ecuador but to follow their example. Nor 
can there be any reason for delay in the case of the Morris. That 
claim has been adjusted by New Granada and Venezuela; and 
a part of the proportion of the former and the whole of that of 
the latter have already been paid. 

No doubt is entertained of the justice of the claims in the 
cases of the Native and the Sarah Wilson. 

One of the main purposes for which your mission was estab- 
lished was to procure a final settlement and payment of these and 
other claims against the Government of Ecuador, and the Presi- 
dent confidently expects that you will devote your best efforts to 
accomplish the object. 

Each of the claims against the Government of New Granada 
and Venezuela has been adjusted singly by our Charge d' Affaires 
at Bogota and Caracas; & it is presumed that you had better 
pursue a similar course in regard to the corresponding claims 
against Ecuador. If, however, that Government should prefer 
to conclude a formal convention for the payment of all the just 
claims of American Citizens, I can perceive no objection to this 
course. In such event, you will take care that this shall specify 
individually the cases embraced by it as well as the amount 
allowed in each; so that other claims which may not have been 
presented shall be saved. 

Although this Government would be justified in demanding 
a prompt payment of the whole amount of these claims, yet 
you are authorised to agree, should this become necessary, that 
they, or either of them, may be paid in not more than five annual 
instalments, with six per cent, interest. You will thus perceive 
that we are still willing to grant to our sister Republic every in- 



1848] TO MR. WELLS 69 

diligence not inconsistent with the duty we owe to the American 
claimants. I am, sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 

TO MR. WELLS.^ 

(Circular.) Department of State, 

Washington, i6th May, 1848. 
Lemuel Weils, Esqre., 

U. S. C. St. Catherine's Island. 

Sir : Samuel F. Tracy, of New York, the owner of the Brig 
'' Caroline," Edwin Bartlett, of the same City, a Shipper of a 
part of her Cargo, and several Insurance Companies, have ad- 
dressed a communication to the Department stating that that 
Vessel was, without authority or necessity, taken into St. Cather- 
ine's in Brazil in June, 1847, where her Master, E. M. Jefferson, 
caused her to be condemned as unseaworthy. That she was con- 
sequently sold, and a large part of her Cargo, also ; that not hav- 
ing received any of the proceeds, they have appointed Mr. James 
Birckhead of Rio de Janeiro to assist them in recovering them, 
and they request that you may be directed to extend to him your 
friendly cooperation towards accomplishing this object. Al- 
though it is not doubted that you would cheerfully do this without 
any special instruction from this Department, yet the application 
comes from parties of such respectability, and relates to what 
seems to have been an act of such flagrant barratry, that I can- 
not hesitate to accede to it. 

You will accordingly aid Mr. Birckhead in any way you 
can, which, in your opinion, may tend to secure the object in view 
and promote the ends of justice. 

I am, Sir, &c., 

James Buchanan. 

Same circular as the preceding sent to Robert M. Hamilton, 
Esqre., U. S. Consul, Montevideo. 



'MSS. Department of State, Despatches to Consuls, XIII. 73; S. Ex. 
Doc. 52, 43 Cong. I Sess. 5. A claim in this case was afterwards presented 
to the Brazilian Government, which paid it in 1867; but the money was re- 
funded by the United States, on the strength of an opinion of the Attorney 
General of the United States that Brazil was not internationally liable for 
the misconduct of the judge who condemned the vessel. See Moore's Inter- 
national Arbitrations, II. 1342. No diplomatic claim was made in the time 
of Mr. Buchanan as Secretary of State. 



70 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO M. BOURBOULON/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, i8th May, 1848. 
Mr. a. Bourboulon, 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

Under date of the 14th February last, Mr. Pageot communi- 
cated to this Department a copy of Captain Buisson's account 
of the seizure and detention of his vessel, the " Sultan," before 
Vera Cruz, by the American Squadron, and recommended the 
case to the justice and equity of this Government. I accordingly 
lost no time in submitting the matter to the Secretary of the 
Navy, who caused an enquiry to be instituted into the facts of 
the case, which has resulted in a report from Commodore Perry 
on the subject, of which report I have the honor, herewith, to 
enclose you a copy. From this, it will be seen that the circum- 
stances of the case have been incorrectly stated by Captain Buis- 
son, and that the conduct of the American Naval Officers con- 
cerned in the seizure of the " Sultan," so far from furnishing 
good ground of complaint, is characterized by great forbearance 
and liberality. 

I avail m3^self of the occasion to offer you the assurance of 
my high consideration. 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. MANN.^ 



Department of State, 

Washington, 29th May, 1848. 
A. Dudley Mann, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

Your despatches to No. 20, inclusive, have been duly received 
and submitted to the President. The judicious, able, and satis- 
factory manner in , which you have discharged all the duties 
confided to you, and the successful results which have attended 
your efforts to promote the interests of commerce and navigation 
between the United States and Gennany, have received his un- 



^MSS. Department of State, Notes to French Legation, VI. 118. 

' MSS. Department of State, Instructions to Diplomatic Agents, &c., 13. 



1848] TO MR. MANN 71 

qualified approbation. It gratifies me to add, that I have found 
your communications replete with information — ^historical, politi- 
cal, statistical, commercial, and agricultural — of a highly impor- 
tant character. I have, also, to thank you for the remarks, with 
which your despatches are interspersed, relative to the progress 
of events and the advance of liberal principles in Europe, and 
especially in Germany, since the late French Revolution has given 
a new impulse to the efforts of the people of so many of the 
Continental Sovereignties in asserting their rights and reforming 
their governments. 

With reference to my letter of the 4th ultimo, it is proper to 
state, that as the omission of the Senate to pass upon the Mecklen- 
burg-Schwerin Declaration of Accession has rendered it imprac- 
ticable to close your mission on the ist of May, the period therein 
designated is hereby extended until the 20th of July next (a 
sufficient time, it is presumed, to effect that object) ; and, in 
the settlement of your accounts at the Treasury, compensation 
will accordingly be allowed you up to the latter date. 

I am. Sir, respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. MANN.^ 



Department of State, 

Washington, 29th May, 1848. 
A. Dudley Mann, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

The Declaration of Accession of the Grand Duchy of Meck- 
lenburg-Schwerin to the Hanoverian Treaty was not ratified 
by the Senate until the i8th instant. This delay was occasioned, 
on the part of that Body, not by any want of a due sense of the 
importance of the measure, but by the pressure of other important 
subjects of a more exciting character, and of more immediate 
urgency. The President is deeply anxious to cultivate the most 
friendly relations with the German States. He is convinced that 
the extension of our commerce with Germany could not fail 
to strengthen these relations, whilst it would be productive of 
great and substantial benefits to both countries. He regrets ex- 



MSS. Department of State, Instructions to Diplomatic Agents, &c., 14. 



72 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

ceedingly, therefore, that the action of the Senate upon the 
Declaration of Mecklenburg-Schwerin was so long delayed as to 
render it quite impossible that his ratification of it should be 
made known to that Government within the stipulated period of 
six months from the 9th December, 1847, the date of the ex- 
change of the Declarations between yourself and the Baron de 
Lutzon. In our anxiety, however, to give effect to the Declara- 
tion, the Department has appointed Dennis Corcoran, Esquire, of 
New Orleans, a vSpecial Messenger, to bear the ratification of the 
President to you at Frankfort, with the least possible delay ; and 
it is hoped that the few days which must elapse, after the gth 
June, before you can deliver it to the Minister of Foreign 
Affairs at Schwerin, will not interpose any obstacle to its accept- 
ance by that Government. 

Upon your arrival at Schwerin, I would suggest that you 
might address a note to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, request- 
ing that the Government of Mecklenburg-Schwerin would agree 
to accept the President's ratification of the Declaration, with 
the same effect to all intents and purposes as though it had been 
of^cially communicated to that Government before the 9th day 
of June, 1848. This note would, of course, explain the reasons 
for the delay. Should any other mode of attaining the end be 
deemed more expedient, in your judgment, than that suggested, 
you will adopt it. It is indispensable, however, that the Govern- 
ment of Mecklenburg, by an official Declaration, in some form 
or other, should agree to receive the President's ratification, with 
the same effect as though it had been delivered before the 9th 
June; otherwise it would ''be rendered null and void to all in- 
tents and purposes." Until the Department shall receive official 
information that this has been done, the President cannot, of 
course, proclaim as law the Declaration of Accession; but no 
time shall be lost in issuing this Proclamation whenever such 
information shall be received. 

I am, Sir, respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

Iames Buchanan. 



1848] TO MR. INGERSOLL 73 

TO MR. INGERSOLL.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 31st May, 1848. 
Dear Sir: 

A case has recently occurred which proves the necessity of 
legislation on the part of Congress for the purpose of executing 
the loth Article of the Treaty of Washington of the 9th August, 
1842, between the United States and Great Britain. 

One Burr Seely made his escape from Montreal into St. 
Lawrence County, New York, in February last, charged with the 
crime of Forgery. He was pursued by the Canadian authorities ; 
but the State Magistrates, although the proof of his guilt was 
clear, refused to grant a warrant for his apprehension under the 
Treaty. This refusal was based upon two grounds, i. They had 
no jurisdiction. 2. That if they had, they were not obliged to act. 

I presume it is well settled that State Magistrates have 
authority, tho* they could not be compelled to act in such cases. 

Throughout the whole Northern District of New York there 
is but one Judicial Officer, the Judge of the District, who would 
be bound to execute the Treaty. His remote residence from the 
frontier, as well as his frequent absence from home in the dis- 
charge of his official duties, renders it impossible that he can 
give full effect to the loth Article of the Treaty. Fugitives in 
almost every instance would make their escape before the Cana- 
dian authorities could reach him and obtain warrant of arrest. 

Hitherto the State Magistrates have always received the 
necessary proof and issued warrants without difficulty; but it is 
now apprehended they will not do so hereafter. Under these cir- 
cumstances. Her Britannic Majesty's Charge d' Affaires has 
appealed to this Department, and asked the Government of the 
United States to provide additional means to secure the faithful 
execution of the loth Article of the Treaty of Washington. 

For these reasons, I have the honor of submitting to you as 
Chairman of the Committee of the Judiciary of the House of 
Representatives all the correspondence and documents upon the 
subject, in the expectation that such legislation may be provided 
as will hereafter secure the faithful execution of the Treaty. 
Yours very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 
Hon. Joseph R. Ingersoll, Chairman of the Committee on 
the Judiciary of the Ho. of Reps. 



^MSS. Department of State, Report Book, VI. 254. 



74 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO THE PRESIDENT/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 31st May, 1848. 
The Secretary of State, to whom was referred the Resolution 
of the Senate of the 30th Instant, requesting the President " to 
send to the Senate, if in his judgment not inconsistent with the 
public interest, a copy of any communication from Commodore 
Perry or from any other authentic source, containing additional 
information connected with the existing condition of affairs in 
Yucatan," has the honor to lay before the President a translation 
of a note under date the 23rd Instant, addressed to this Depart- 
ment by Mr. Sierra, the Commissioner of Yucatan. This note 
contains all the information in the possession of this Department 
relative to the condition of affairs in that State which has not 
already been communicated to the Senate. 
Respectfully submitted. 

Tames Buchanan. 
To the President of the United States. 



TO MR. APPLETON.^ 

No. 2. Department of State, 

Washington, i June, 1848. 
John Appleton, Esquire, &c. 

Sir: The Republic of Bolivia, to which you are accredited 
as Charge d'Affaires, is the only one of the independent States 
of the American Continent which has never been visited either 
by a diplomatic or consular agent of the United States. The 
important duty is, therefore, confided to you of opening diplo- 
matic relations with that Republic. 

You may assure the Bolivian Government that this delay 
(in accrediting a minister to them) has not been occasioned 
by any want of the most friendly feelings on our part. 

The early and decided stand which the people of the United 
States and their government took in recognizing the independence 
of the Spanish American Republics is known to the world. Ever 



*MSS. Department of State, Report Book, VI. 254; S. Ex. Doc. 49, 30 
Cong. I Sess. i. This report was transmitted by President Polk to the 
Senate on the same day. 

^ MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Bolivia, I. 2. 



1848] TO MR. APPLETON 75 

since that period, we have felt the most lively interest in their 
prosperity and the strongest desire to see them elevated, under 
free, stable, and Republican Governments, to a high rank among 
the nations of the earth. We entertain a cordial sympathy for 
all the Republics on this continent, and desire nothing more than 
that their course should be prosperous and onward, securing the 
blessings of liberty and order to their people. This delay has, 
on the contrary, arisen solely from the fact that the territories 
of the Bolivian Republic lie chiefly in the interior of South 
America, and that for want of good ports on the Pacific our 
commercial intercourse with them has been of a very limited 
character. It is believed that Cobeja is the only Bolivian port, 
and this is but little frequented. It is understood that the Govern- 
ments of Peru and Bolivia have been in Treaty for the cession 
of the Port of Arica from the former to the latter; and whilst 
this could not materially injure Peru, it would be of essential ad- 
vantage to Bolivia, as well as to the commerce of our country. 
Without attempting to interfere with the domestic concerns of 
either of these Republics, you might, should an opportunity offer, 
by your counsel and advice promote this cession. Arica would 
seem naturally to belong to Bolivia; and of this that Republic 
cannot fail to be rendered more deeply sensible by the onerous 
transit duties which are now levied at Arica upon merchandise 
destined for consumption in Bolivia. The truth is, that so long 
as Arica shall continue to be a Peruvian port, it will be a per- 
petual cause of irritation between these Republics and will always 
endanger their friendly relations with each other. 

The principal object of your mission is to cultivate the most 
friendly relations with Bolivia. The enemies of free Government 
throughout the world point with satisfaction to the perpetual 
revolutions and changes in the Spanish American Republics. 
They hence argue that man is not fit for self Government ; and it 
is greatly to be deplored that the instability of these Republics 
and in many instances their disregard for private rights have 
afforded a pretext for such an unfounded assumption. Liberty 
cannot be preserved without order; and this can only spring from 
a sacred observance of law. So long as it shall be in the power 
of successive military Chieftains to subvert the Governments of 
these Republics by the sword, their people cannot expect to enjoy 
the blessings of liberty. Anarchy, confusion, and civil war must 
be the result. In your intercourse with the Bolivian authorities 
you will omit no opportunity of pressing these truths upon them. 



76 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

and of presenting to them the example of our own country, where 
all controversies are decided at the ballot box. These truths 
you will endeavor to impress upon those whom you may meet in 
society, and you will avail yourself of all suitable opportunities 
to strengthen, in a becoming manner, the opinions which must 
already exist in Bolivia in favor of republican institutions. 

You will bear in mind, also, the desire of your government 
for the mutual friendship and harmony of the South American 
Republics, and will always encourage, when you can properly do 
so, every measure which may be fairly expected to tend towards 
such a result. 

Instead of weakening themselves by domestic dissensions, 
the Spanish race in these Republics have every motive for union 
and harmony. They nearly all have an enemy within their own 
bosoms burning for vengeance on account of the supposed wrongs 
of centuries, and ever ready, when a favorable opportunity may 
offer, to expel or exterminate the descendants of their conquerors. 
Already a war of races has arisen between the Indians and the 
Spanish in Guatemala and Yucatan, and the civil war now raging 
in Venezuela partakes largely of this character. In Bolivia it 
is understood that three-fourths of the inhabitants belong to the 
Indian race. How unfortunate it is that, under these circum- 
stances, the Spanish race there should be weakening themselves 
by warring with each other. 

The nations on this Continent are placed in a peculiar posi- 
tion. Their interests and independence require that they should 
establish and maintain an American system of policy for their 
protection and security, entirely distinct from that which has so 
long prevailed in Europe. To tolerate any interference on the 
part of European Governments with controversies in America, 
and to suffer them to establish new colonies of their own inter- 
mingled with our free Republics, would be to make, to the same 
extent, a voluntary sacrifice of our independence. These truths 
ought everywhere throughout the continent of America to be 
impressed on the public mind. 

The direct trade between the United States and Bolivia is 
believed to be insignificant, but the inhabitants of that Republic 
are known to consume products of the United States to a consider- 
able amount which they receive indirectly. These they would 
probably use more largely if they were not circuitously conveyed, 
and if the mutual wants of the two countries shall be better 
understood. One of the purposes of your mission will be to 



1848] TO MR. APPLETON 77 

accomplish these results. On the 30th November, 1836, during 
the brief existence of the Government called the " Peru-Bolivian 
Confederation," a Treaty between that Government and the 
United States was concluded. That Confederacy, as you are 
aware, was composed of the States of North and South Peru and 
of the Republic of Bolivia, and General Santa Cruz of that Re- 
public was its Executive Chief. Since its dissolution and the 
choice of General Castilla as President of Peru, the Peruvian 
Government has expressed doubts as to the obligations of Peru 
under the Treaty. You will herewith receive a copy of the cor- 
respondence on this subject between this Department and Mr. 
Osma, the late Minister from Peru at Washington. This cor- 
respondence was followed by an authority to him from his Gov- 
ernment to conclude a new and separate Treaty with Peru. The 
President having empowered me for the same purpose, the 
Treaty was signed on the ninth of February last, and is now 
before the Senate. You will herewith receive a printed copy of 
it. You will, also, have with you a copy of the Treaty which 
was concluded between the United States and the Republic of 
Ecuador on the 13th of June, 1839. Both these treaties contain 
important provisions which are not embraced in the Convention 
between this government and the Peru-Bolivian Confederation 
of November, 1836, but which it would be desirable to embody 
in a new treaty with the Republic of Bolivia. You will take an 
early occasion, therefore, to ascertain the views of the Bolivian 
Government on this subject, and if you find them favorable, 
you may propose a new treaty on the general basis of the treaty 
with Ecuador of 1839. If objections should be made to any 
of the stipulations of this treaty, which are not of material im- 
portance, you will be at liberty to modify them, so as to meet 
the wishes of the Bolivian Government, in any way which in your 
judgment will be satisfactory to your own government. 

Numerous individuals and some associations have applied 
to this Department for instructions to our diplomatic agent and 
Consuls in Peru to assist them in importing Alpaca sheep into 
the United States. Unofficial instructions to that effect have 
accordingly been given. The object may be said to be of ma- 
terial importance, and its accomplishment by proper means will 
reflect credit upon any person who may contribute to that result. 
It is understood that the Government of Peru allows those 
animals to be exported reluctantly, if at all, and, indeed, has 
interposed legal or other impediments thereto. If, as is presumed 



78 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

to be the case, Alpacas also abound in Bolivia, it will be desirable 
to know whether or not the regulations of that Government in 
regard to their exportation are more liberal than those of its 
neighbor, and whether this exportation can be advantageously 
made. 

I am, Sir, very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. HISE/ 



(No. I.) Department of State, 

Washington, 3rd June, 1848. 

Sir: The great extension which the coast of the United 
States on the Pacific has recently attained, followed, as it will 
be, by a rapid increase of our population in that quarter, admon- 
ishes this government to cultivate and strengthen, in a spirit of 
wise forecast, relations of friendship and commerce with the other 
governments whose territories border upon that ocean. 

When the Federation of the Centre of America was formed, 
the government and people of the United States entertained the 
highest hopes and felt the warmest desire for its success and 
prosperity. Its government was that of a Federal Republic, 
composed of the five States of Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, 
St. Salvador, and Costa Rica, and its constitution nearly re- 
sembled that of the United States. This constitution unfor- 
tunately endured but a brief period, and the different States of 
Central America are now politically independent of each other. 
The consequence is that each of them is so feeble as to invite 
aggressions from foreign powers. Whilst it is our intention 
to maintain our established policy of non-intervention in the con- 
cerns of foreign nations, you are instructed by your counsel and 
advice, should suitable occasions offer, to promote the reunion of 
the States which formed the Federation of Central America. 
In a federal union among themselves consists their strength. 
They will thus avoid domestic dissensions, and render themselves 
respected by the world. These truths you can impress upon them 
by the most powerful arguments. 



^ MSS. Department of State, Instructions, American States, XV. 51 ; 
H. Ex. Doc. 75, 31 Cong, i Sess. 92. Extract given in Curtis's Buchanan, 
I. 621. 



1848] TO MR. HISE 79 

A principal object of your mission is to cultivate the most 
friendly relations with Guatemala. It is now an independent 
sovereignty and is by far the most populous and powerful of the 
States of the former federation. Whilst representing your Gov- 
ernment at Guatemala, however, you will enjoy frequent oppor- 
tunities of cultivating friendly relations between the United 
States and the other States of Central America, which you will 
not fail to embrace. 

The enemies of free institutions throughout the world have 
been greatly encouraged by the constantly recurring revolutions 
and changes in the Spanish-American Republics. They are thus 
furnished with arguments against the capacity of man for self- 
government. The President and people of the United States 
have viewed these incessant changes with the most profound 
regret. Both our principles and our policy make us desire that 
these Republics should become prosperous and powerful. We 
feel a deep interest in their welfare, but this we know can only 
be promoted by free and stable governments. The enjoyment 
of liberty and the maintenance of private rights cannot be secured 
without pennanent order, and this can only spring from the 
sacred observance of law. So long as successive military chief- 
tains shall possess the ability and the will to subvert subsisting 
governments by the sword, the inevitable consequences must be 
a disregard of personal rights, weakness at home, and want of 
character abroad. In your intercourse with the authorities of 
Guatemala and the other States of Central America, you will 
not fail to impress upon them our example, where all political 
controversies are decided at the ballot-box. 

I have no doubt that the dissolution of the confederacy of 
South America has encouraged Great Britain in her encroach- 
ments upon the territories of Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, 
under the mask of protecting the so-called kingdom of the Mos- 
quitos. We learn that under this pretext she has now obtained pos- 
session of the harbor of San Juan de Nicaragua, probably the best 
harbor along the whole coast. Her object in this acquisition is 
evident from the policy which she has uniformly pursued through- 
out her past history, of seizing upon every valuable commercial 
point throughout the world, whenever circumstances have placed 
this in her power. Her purpose probably is to obtain the control 
of the route for a railroad and a canal between the Atlantic and 
Pacific oceans, through the lake Nicaragua. In a document 
prepared, as it is understood, by Mr. Macgregor, and printed by 



80 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

order of the British Parhament, which has been furnished to me 
by Mr. Crampton, Her Britannic Majesty's Charge d' Affaires 
to the United States, Great Britain claims the whole of the sea- 
coast for the King of the Mosquitos, from Cape Honduras to 
Escuda de Veragua. By this means, she would exclude from 
the Caribbean Sea the whole of Honduras South of Cape Hon- 
duras and the entire States of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, as well 
as the New Granadian State of Veragua. Under the assumed 
title of protector of the Kingdom of Mosquito, a miserable, de- 
graded and insignificant tribe of Indians, she doubtless intends 
to acquire an absolute dominion over this vast extent of sea coast. 
With what little reason she advances this pretension, appears from 
the Convention between Great Britain and Spain, signed at Lon- 
don on the 14th July, 1786. By its first article, '' His Britannic 
Majesty's subjects and the other colonists who have hitherto en- 
joyed the protection of England shall evacuate the country of the 
Mosquitos, as well as the continent in general, and the Islands 
adjacent, without exception, situated beyond the line hereinafter 
described, as what ought to be the frontier of the extent of terri- 
tory granted by His Catholic Majesty to the English, for the 
uses specified in the third article of the present Convention, and 
in addition to the country already granted to them in virtue of the 
stipulations agreed upon by the Commissioners of the two crowns, 

ill 1783." 

The country granted to them under the Treaties of 1783 
and 1786 was altogether embraced within the present British 
province of Belize, and was remote from what is now claimed to 
be the Mosquito kingdom. The uses specified in the third article 
of the Convention were merely, in addition to that of " cutting 
wood for dyeing," the grant of the liberty of cutting all other 
wood, without even excepting mahogany, as well as gathering 
all the fruits or produce of the earth, purely natural and unculti- 
vated, which may, besides being carried away in their natural 
state, become an object of utility or of commerce, whether for 
food or for manufactures; but it is expressly agreed that this 
stipulation is never to be used as a pretext for establishing in that 
country any plantation of sugar, coffee, cocoa, or other like 
articles ; or any fabric or manufacture by means of mills or other 
machines whatsoever. (This restriction, however, does not re- 
gard the use of saw mills, for cutting or otherwise preparing the 
wood.) All the lands in question being indisputably acknowl- 
edged to belong of right to the Crown of Spain, no settlements 



1848] TO MR. HISE 81 

of that kind, or the population which would follow, could be 
allowed. " The English shall be permitted to transport and 
convey all such wood, and other produce of the place, in its nat- 
ural and uncultivated state, down the rivers to the sea, but with- 
out ever going beyond the limits which are prescribed to them 
by the stipulations above granted, and without thereby taking 
an opportunity of ascending the said rivers, beyond their bounds, 
into the countries belonging to Spain." 

And yet from this simple permission, within certain limits 
to cut and carry away all the different kinds of wood and the 
*' produce of the earth, purely natural and uncultivated," accom- 
panied by the most solemn acknowledgment, on the part of Great 
Britain, that all the lands in question " belong of right to the 
crown of Spain," she has by successive encroachments established 
the British Colony of the Belize. 

The Government of the United States has not yet determined 
what course it will pursue in regard to the encroachments of the 
British Government, as protector of the King and Kingdom of 
the Mosquitos, but you are instructed to obtain all the informa- 
tion within your power upon the nature and extent of these 
encroachments and communicate it with the least possible delay 
to this Department. We are, also, desirous to learn the number 
of the Mosquito tribe, the degree of civilization they have attained, 
and everything else concerning them. 

The independence as well as the interests of the nations on 
this continent require that they should maintain an American 
system of policy entirely distinct from that which prevails in 
Europe. To suffer any interference on the part of the European 
Governments with the domestic concerns of the American Repub- 
lics and to permit them to establish new colonies upon this con- 
tinent, would be to jeopard their independence and to ruin their 
interests. These truths ought everywhere throughout this con- 
tinent to be impressed on the public mind. But what can the 
United States do to resist such European interference whilst the 
Spanish American Republics continue to weaken themselves by 
division and civil war and deprive themselves of the ability of 
doing anything for their own protection ? 

The relations between the United States and the States which 
formerly composed the Republic of Central America are of a 
character in which this government has always felt a lively in- 
terest. On the 22nd of November, 1822, after the Central 
American States had achieved their independence of Spain, but 

Vol. VIII— 6 



82 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

before they were united under a common government, the Con- 
gress of St. Salvador passed an Act declaring that State a 
member of our Union, and Messrs. Arce and Rodriguez were 
sent hither to negotiate with this government upon the subject. 
No formal answer was given to the application, but the regard for 
our country and the confidence in its institutions which it implied 
deserve to be held in respectful remembrance. 

The Federation of Central America had not long been 
formed, when its government accredited to that of the United 
States a Minister Plenipotentiary, with whom a Treaty was con- 
cluded in this City on the 5th of December, 1825. This Treaty 
was upon a basis more liberal than any which had previously 
been concluded by the United States. Although from the com- 
parative insignificance of the commercial marine of that Republic 
there might have been cause to apprehend that some of the pro- 
visions of the Treaty, though reciprocal in terms, would prove 
unequal in their operation, it is believed that no complaints of 
this character were made, and that, in fact, there was no cause for 
them. Under the authority of the Treaty, consumers in Central 
America of articles from Europe or the East Indies derived ad- 
vantages from the competition of the intelligence and enterprise 
of merchants of the United States in supplying them, far out- 
weighing any benefits which that country could possibly have 
enjoyed from interposing impediments to the admission of our 
vessels and their cargoes. This, indeed, seems to have been the 
conviction of the Central American Government itself, so long 
as it existed. You will notice that the Treaty was to last twelve 
years from the date of the exchange of the ratifications, and that 
it did not contain the clause which has since been introduced into 
many of our Treaties, providing for its continuance. In conse- 
quence of this, in 1838, shortly previous to the expiration of the 
Treaty, Mr. De Witt, the Charge d'Affaires of the United States 
at Guatemala, was empowered and instructed to renew it. The 
new Treaty was accordingly signed on the 14th of July, 1838. 
It contained a stipulation that the ratifications were to be ex- 
changed in this City within eight months from its date. Mr. 
De Witt, having received leave of absence from his post, quitted 
that country before the Treaty had been acted upon by the Gov- 
ernment of Central America, and when he reached the United 
States, bringing the Treaty with him, the period limited for 
the exchange of the ratifications had expired. In consequence 
of this, the Treaty did not go into operation. Mr. De Witt died 



1848] TO MR. HISE 83 

soon after his return home, and no successor to him as Charge 
d'Affaires of the United States to Central America was appointed. 
In the summer of 1839, however, Mr. J. L. Stephens was sent 
as special agent of this government to that country, for the pur- 
pose, in part, of proposing to the Central American Government 
that the ratifications of the Treaty should be exchanged, notwith- 
standing the lapse of the time within which that ceremony was 
to have taken place. On reaching that country, however, he 
was unable to accomplish the object, in consequence of the disso- 
lution of the government of Central x\merica. 

In the summer of 1841, Mr. W. S. Murphy was also des- 
patched as a Special Agent to Central America. It was stated 
in his instructions that since the return of Mr. Stephens, there 
was reason to believe that a Confederation of some kind and to 
some extent had been formed in Central America; that in the 
opinion of the President it was desirable that this government 
should be in possession of authentic information in regard to 
the condition and prospects of that country. If he should find 
there any organized government with the title of the " Federa- 
tion of Central America," he was to endeavor to effect with it 
the arrangement in relation to the Treaty which Mr. Stephens 
failed to accomplish. He ascertained that no government existed 
with the title above mentioned. He was informed, however, 
that there was a league or alliance among the Central American 
States, but he did not discover its nature or extent. The De- 
partment has reason to believe that since the mission of Mr. 
Murphy attempts have been made by some of those States to 
form a league for the purpose of transacting business with 
foreign powers, but it is doubtful whether any of these attempts 
have succeeded, and it is almost certain that at present there is 
no federal government in Central America entitled to the privi- 
leges or responsible for the duties of a sovereign power. 

By a decree bearing date the 21st of March, 1847, the State 
of Guatemala declared itself a Free and Independent Republic. 

The Department is informed that the government of Guate- 
mala has recently expressed a disposition to form a Treaty with 
the United States. This disposition is reciprocated by the Presi- 
dent. At as early a period, therefore, after you shall have been 
received by that government as you may judge proper, you may 
inform the Secretary of State of Guatemala that you are em- 
powered to negotiate a treaty with his government, and you 
will request that, if the Government of Guatemala is disposed to 



84 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

enter upon the negotiation, a person may also be empowered 
for the same purpose on its part. As it cannot be anticipated 
that the Guatemalan Government will object to the Treaty signed 
by Mr. De Witt and Mr. Alvarez on behalf of their respective 
Governments on the 14th July, 1838, you may propose the adop- 
tion of that Treaty between the United States and Guatemala. 
It is almost literally identical with the Treaty between the United 
States and the Federation of Central America of the 5th Decem- 
ber, 1825. The variations between them are mentioned in the 
accompanying extract from the instructions of this Department 
to Mr. De Witt of the 28th March, 1838. 

You are also herewith furnished with a Full Power to con- 
clude a Treaty of Commerce with the Republic of San Salvador. 
Similar treaties with the other States of Central America would 
probably be useful in fostering our trade with them and in pro- 
tecting our citizens who may visit or reside in their territories. 
It is not, however, deemed advisable to empower you to conclude 
a Treaty with either Nicaragua, Honduras, or Costa Rica, until 
you shall have communicated to the Department more full and 
authentic statistical information in regard to those States than 
that which it now possesses. You will accordingly be diligent in 
collecting this information, which it would be desirable that the 
Department should receive without any delay which can be 
avoided. 

I am. Sir, very respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 
To Elijah Hise, Esquire, &c. &c. &c. 



TO MR. BILLE.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 6th June, 1848. 
Mr. Steen Bille, 

&c. &c. &c. Philadelphia. 
Sir: 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note 
of the 29th ultimo, communicating, by order of your Govern- 
ment, an official notice to the Government of the United States 
of the Blockade, by the Danish Fleet, of certain Ports in the 

^ MSS. Department of State, Notes to Danish Legation, VI. 19. 



1848] TO THE PRESIDENT 85 

Baltic, belonging to Prussia and to other Powers with which Den- 
mark is at this time engaged in War. 

I have to thank you, at the same time, for the printed 
" Extract," which accompanied your note, embracing the general 
regulations adopted by Denmark for the blockade of enemies' 
ports and the seizure of their vessels. 

I remain. Sir, with great consideration. 
Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MRS. MADISON.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, June 8th, 1848. 
Received from Mrs. D. P. Madison, widow of the late James 
Madison, formerly President of the United States, four trunks 
containing papers, which are declared by her to be " all the unpub- 
lished manuscript papers of the said James Madison, belonging 
to and in her possession," agreeably to the deed this day signed 
and executed by her, conveying to the United States all her right 
and title in and to the said papers, in virtue of an act of Congress 
approved May 31, 1848, providing ''for the purchase of the 
manuscript papers of the late James Madison, formerly President 
of the United States." 

James Buchanan. 

Secretary of State. 



TO THE PRESIDENT.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, June 8th, 1848. 
The Secretary of State, to whom has been referred a reso- 
lution of the Senate of the 31st Ultimo, in which the President 
is requested to communicate to that Body " the correspondence 
(not heretofore communicated) between the Secretary of State 
and the Minister of the United States at Paris, since the recent 
change in the Government of France, provided that, in the opin- 
ion of the President, the same may be done without injury to the 



^MSS. Department of State, 36 Domestic Letters, 439. 
^MSS. Department of State, Report Book, VI. 255. Transmitted by the 
President to the Senate, June 12, 1848; S. Ex. Doc. 53, 30 Cong, i Sess. i. 



86 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

public interest," has the honor to lay before him a copy of the 
papers called for by the Resolution. 

All which is respectfully submitted. 

James Buchanan. 
To THE President of the United States. 



CERTIFICATE OF DELIVERY OF MADISON PAPERS 

to the secretary of state. 1 

[June lo, 1848.] 
Whereas, by an Act of Congress, approved May 31, 1848, 
entitled *' An act for the purchase of the manuscript papers of 
the late James Madison, formerly President of the United States," 
it is provided, " That the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars 
be and the same is hereby appropriated, out of any money in the 
Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to purchase of Mrs. D. P. 
Madison, widow of the late James Madison, formerly President 
of the United States, all the unpublished manuscript papers of 
the said James Madison now belonging to and in her possession, 
and upon delivery thereof to the Secretary of State, with a proper 
conveyance of title to the United States, the said sum of money, 
upon the certificate of the Secretary of State of the delivery and 
conveyance of said papers, shall be paid at the Treasury, agree- 
ably to the wishes of the said Mrs. Madison, and in the manner 
following, namely, five thousand dollars of said sum of twenty- 
five thousand dollars, to be paid to her, and the residue of 
twenty thousand to James Buchanan, now Secretary of State, 
John Y. Mason, Secretary of the Navy, and Richard Smith, Esq., 
of Washington city, to be held, put out to interest, vested in 
stocks, or otherwise managed and disposed of by them or the 
survivor or survivors of them as Trustees for the said Mrs. Madi- 
son according to their best discretion and her best advantage — 
the interest or profit arising from the said principal sum to be 
paid over to her as the same accrues — the said principal sum to be 
and remain inalienable during her life time, as a permanent fund 
for her maintenance, but subject to be disposed of as she may 
please by her last will and testament," 
Now, therefore. 



^ MSS. Department of State, 36 Domestic Letters, 440. 



1848] TO MR. FLENNIKEN 87 

I, James Buchanan, Secretary of State as aforesaid, do here- 
by certify that the said manuscript papers have been delivered 
to me, with a proper conveyance of title to the United States. 

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and 
caused the seal of this Department to be affixed at Washington, 
[Seal] this tenth day of June, one thousand eight hun- 

dred and forty-eight. 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. MEREDITH.^ 

Washington, June 12, 1848. 
My Dear Sir : 

I have received an intimation from our friends Fordney and 
Reynolds that you are willing to sell the Wheatlands, for the 
price which you gave Mr. Potter for them. As I intend, in any 
event, to retire from public life on the 4th of March next, I 
should be pleased to become the purchaser. The terms of pay- 
ment I could make agreeable to yourself; and I should be glad if 
you would retain the possession until the autumn. In making 
this offer, I desire to purchase from you just what you purchased 
from Mr. Potter, and to pay you the same price which you paid 
him. If I have been misinformed in regard to your desire to 
sell, I know you will pardon this intrusion. 

Yours, very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 



TO IMR. FLENNIKEN.^ 

(No. 3.) Department of State, 

Washington, 17th June, 1848. 
Robert P. Flenniken, Esqre., 
&c. &c. &c. Copenhagen. 
Sir: 

I transmit to you, herewith, the commission of Mr. H. T. 
A. Rainals, as Consul of the United States for the Port of Elsi- 
nore; on the receipt of which you will apply to the Danish Gov- 
ernment for an Exequatur, which, when obtained, you will de- 



*Curtis's Buchanan, II. 2. Mr. Meredith's reply is given at the place 
here cited. 

'MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Denmark, XIV. 56. 



88 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

liver personally, or forward with the commission, to Mr. Rainals, 
at the place for which he has been appointed. 

Your despatches to No. 35, inclusive, with the exception of 
No. 34, have been received. I take the occasion, in acknowledg- 
ing these despatches, to thank you for the information which you 
have from time to time communicated to the Department, espe- 
cially in regard to the difficulties which have involved Denmark 
and Germany in an unhappy war. 

Tlie assurances privately and confidentially given you, in 
reference to the treatment of our ships under the blockade, as 
stated in your despatch No. 31, and confirmed by the facts men- 
tioned in your No. 33, evince a friendly disposition on the part 
of the Danish Government which is highly appreciated by this 
Government ; on whose behalf you will take an early and fitting 
opportunity to make a due acknowledgment. 

The Despatch No. i, which you say has never been received, 
was your first letter of instructions, dated the i6th of April of 
last year. It was handed to you, with the accompanying papers, 
whilst you were still in this City. 

I am. Sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. INGERSOLL.^ 

(No. 6.) Department of State, 

Washington, 17th June, 1848. 
Ralph J. Ingersoll, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

I have the honor to infonn you that the President has, by 
and with the advice and consent of the Senate, made choice of 
Arthur P. Bagby, of Alabama, as Envoy Extraordinary and 
Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States near the Court of 
His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias. Mr. Bagby will 
proceed upon his mission about the ist of August next, at which 
date you are authorized to place the books and archives of the 
Legation in the hands of its Secretary, and return to the United 
States as you desire, without waiting for the arrival of your 
successor ; provided that the absence of a Minister of the United 



* MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Russia, XIV. 82. 



1848] TO MR. SAUNDERS 89 

States at that time will, in your opinion, be productive of no 
detriment to the public interests. A letter of recall, to be pre- 
sented on the occasion of your taking leave of the Emperor, is 
accordingly herewith transmitted to you, together with an office 
copy of the same. 

Your despatches to No. 13, inclusive, have been duly received 
at this Department. 

I am. Sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

Tames Buchanan. 



TO MR SAUNDERS.^ 

(No. 20.) Department of State, 

Washington, 17th June, 1848. 
Romulus M. Saunders, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

Information has been confidentially received at this Depart- 
ment that a powerful effort will shortly be made at Madrid by the 
Cubans and their friends in Spain to obtain a reduction of the 
duty on American flour imported into Cuba. The present rate 
of duty is enormous and amounts to an almost entire prohibition. 
Whilst Spanish flour, imported in Spanish vessels, pays a duty 
of $2.00 per barrel, American flour imported in American vessels 
is subject to a duty of $9.50 per barrel. The Spanish Govern- 
ment attempt to justify this extravagant discrimination by stating 
that it is necessary to protect the wheat growers of the Peninsula 
against foreign competition. 

You are instructed to use your best endeavors to have this 
duty on American flour reduced to something like a reasonable 
standard ; the lower, of course, the better. Both our agricultural 
and navigating interests will be greatly benefited by such a reduc- 
tion, whilst the consumers of flour in the Island of Cuba will 
be relieved from an onerous tax. In accomplishing the object 
you may act in concert with them and their agents, so far as, in 
your judgment, this may be deemed proper and expedient. 

For your information, I transmit, herewith, a copy of the 
" Havana Mercantile Weekly Report," and " Extra," of the 27th 



MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Spain, XIV. 253. 



90 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

ultimo; showing the difference of duties paid on Spanish and 
Foreign Flour in that Island. 
I am, Sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. SAUNDERS.^ 

(No. 21.) Department of State, 

Washington, 17th June, 1848. 

Sir : By direction of the President, I now call your atten- 
tion to the present condition and future prospects of Cuba. The 
fate of this Island must ever be deeply interesting to the people 
of the United States. We are content that it shall continue to 
be a Colony of Spain. Whilst in her possession we have nothing 
to apprehend. Besides, we are bound to her by the ties of ancient 
friendship, and we sincerely desire to render these perpetual. 

But we can never consent that this Island shall become a 
Colony of any other European power. In the possession of 
Great Britain or any strong naval power, it might prove ruinous 
both to our domestic and foreign commerce, and even endanger 
the Union of the States. The highest and first duty of every 
independent nation is to provide for its own safety; and acting 
upon this principle we should be compelled to resist the acquisi- 
tion of Cuba by any powerful maritime State with all the means 
which Providence has placed at our command. 

Cuba is almost within sight of the coast of Florida. Situ- 
ated between that State and the Peninsula of Yucatan and pos- 
sessing the deep, capacious, and impregnably fortified harbor of 
the Havana, if this Island were under the dominion of Great 
Britain, she could command both the inlets to the Gulf of Mexico. 
She would thus be enabled in time of war effectively to blockade 
the mouth of the Mississippi and to deprive all the western States 
of this Union, as well as those within the Gulf, teeming as they 
are with an industrious and enterprising population, of a foreign 
market for their immense productions. But this is not the worst. 
She could, also, destroy the commerce by sea between our ports 
on the Gulf and our Atlantic ports, — a commerce of nearly as 
great a value as the whole of our foreign trade. 



*MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Spain, XIV. 256. Printed, 
except paragraphs 4-12, inclusive, in H. Ex. Doc. 121, 32 Cong, i Sess. 42. 



1848] TO MR. SAUNDERS 91 

Is there any reason to believe that Great Britain desires to 
acquire the Island of Cuba? 

We know that it has been her uniform policy throughout 
her past history to seize upon every valuable commercial point 
throughout the world whenever circumstances have placed this 
in her power. And what point so valuable as the Island of 
Cuba? The United States are the chief commercial rival 
of Great Britain. Our tonnage at the present moment is 
nearly equal to hers ; and it will be greater within a brief period, 
if nothing should occur to arrest our progress. Of what vast 
importance would it then be to her to obtain the possession of 
an Island from which she could at any time destroy a very large 
proportion both of our foreign and coasting trade. Besides, she 
well knows that if Cuba were in our possession, her West India 
Islands would be rendered comparatively valueless. From the 
extent and fertility of this Island and from the energy and in- 
dustry of our people, we should soon be able to supply the mar- 
kets of the world with tropical productions at a cheaper rate 
than these could be raised in any of her possessions. 

The disposition of Great Britain to extend her dominion 
over the most important commercial positions of the globe has 
been clearly manifested on a recent occasion. Tempted by the 
weakness and disunion of the Central American States, and act- 
ing under the mask of a protector to the King and Kingdom 
of the Mosquitos, — a miserable, degraded, and paltry tribe of 
Indians, — she is endeavoring to acquire permanent possession 
of the entire coast of the Caribbean Sea from Cape Honduras 
to Escuda de Veragua. She would thus exclude from that sea 
the whole of Honduras South of Cape Honduras, the entire 
States of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, and the New Granadian 
Province of Veragua. And this in express violation of her 
Treaty with Spain, of the 14th July, 1786, by which she ac- 
knowledged the sovereignty of the King of Spain over the 
country of the Mosquitos and agreed to evacuate it within the 
period of six months. 

I might add, that Great Britain, from a simple permission 
by Spain under the Treaties of 1783 and 1786 to cut and carry 
away log-wood, mahogany, and other woods, and also the 
natural productions of the earth, within certain defined limits, 
has, by successive encroachments, established the British Colony 
of the Belize. This permission was also accompanied by the 
most solemn acknowledgment on the part of the British Govern- 



92 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

ment, that all the lands within these limits " belong of right to 
the Crown of Spain.'' 

Should Great Britain succeed in her attempts, under the 
pretext of being the protector of the King and Kingdom of the 
Mosquitos, she will acquire dominion over the whole Coast of 
the Caribbean Sea from the mouth of the Rio Honda at the 
Northern extremity of the Belize to the Escuda de Veragua in 
New Granada, with the exception of that part of the Coast be- 
tween the Southern extremity of the Belize and Cape Honduras. 

She has already taken forcible possession of the harbor of 
San Juan de Nicaragua, probably the best harbor along the 
whole coast. Her purpose, doubtless, is to obtain the control 
over the communication between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans 
by the route of the Lake Nicaragua. 

The northern boundary of the Belize is only about two 
hundred miles from the western extremity of Cuba; and if she 
could acquire the sovereignty over this Island, in addition to 
what she has already accomplished and is now struggling to 
obtain along the Coasts of the Caribbean Sea, our commerce on 
that sea, as well as in the Gulf, would be placed at her mercy. 

It must be admitted that Great Britain has a much more 
plausible pretext for acquiring possession of the Island of Cuba 
than she had, as the assumed protector of the Kingdom of Mos- 
quito, for seizing upon the Coasts of the Caribbean Sea. The 
foreign debt of Spain, according to Macgregor and McCulloch, 
amounted in January, 1842, to £65,000,000 sterling. The former 
author observes, that '' the expenditure of Spain exceeds her 
interest without paying a real towards the interest of the foreign 
debt ; " and the latter asserts with justice that " a large amount 
of this debt is due to the English ; and the interest on it has not 
been paid for a lengthened period." ^ 

Lord George Bentinck in a debate on the subject of the 
Spanish debt, in the House of Commons, on the 7th July, 1847, 
with the best means of obtaining information, stated with confi- 
dence the amount of the debt due by Spain to British subjects, on 
which no interest was paid, to be £46,000,000 sterling, — say 
$230,000,000.^ In his speech. Lord Bentinck attempted to prove 
both the right and the duty of Great Britain to go to war with 



^ Macgregor's Com. Regulations, vol. 3, p. 89, title Spain ; McCulloch's 
Gazetteer, p. 45. 

' Hansard, vol. 93, p. 285. Vide Niles' Register, vol. 72, p. 387. 



1848] TO MR. SAUNDERS 93 

Spain for the recovery of this debt, if the object could not other- 
wise be accomphshed ; and he significantly referred to the rev- 
enues of the Islands of Cuba and Porto Rico as furnishing ample 
means not only for the payment of the interest, but for the liqui- 
dation of the principal. Lord Palmerston, in reply, admitted the 
right of the British Government to wage war against Spain for 
the recovery of this debt; but denied its expediency, under the 
then existing circumstances. He concluded his remarks, how- 
ever, by stating: ''But this is a question of expediency, and 
not a question of power; therefore, let no foreign country who 
has done wrong to British subjects deceive itself by a false im- 
pression either that the British nation or the British Parliament 
will forever remain patient under the wrong; or that, if called 
upon to enforce the rights of the people of England, the Govern- 
ment of England will not have ample power and means at its com- 
mand to obtain justice for them." 

Lord George Bentinck was so well satisfied with the speech 
of Lord Palmerston that he withdrew his motion for an address 
to Her Majesty to take such steps as she might deem advisable 
" to secure for the British holders of unpaid Spanish Bonds 
redress from the Government of Spain," observing: ''After 
the tone taken by my noble friend, I am sure there will be nothing 
left to be wished for by the Spanish Bondholders. In the lan- 
guage of my noble friend, coupled with the course he has adopted 
upon former occasions as regards the payment of British subjects 
by Portugal and the South American States, the British holders 
of Spanish Bonds have full security that he will in other cases 
exercise the same energy when the proper time arrives to have 
it exercised, in the case of other su1)jects of the Crown. Such an 
intimation has been given in the tone and language of my noble 
friend to the Spanish nation; and I doubt not they will set 
themselves to work with very little loss of time to do justice to 
the foreign creditors of Spain." 

At the present moment, it is not improbable that a rupture 
between Great Britain and Spain may be impending. The 
Spanish Government, whether with justice or not we have not 
yet the means of judging, have adopted the very strong and 
unusual measure of sending Sir Henry Bulwer, Her Britannic 
Majesty's Minister, his passports, and ordering him to quit the 
Kingdom within forty-eight hours. Should hostilities result 
from this proceeding, no doubt can be entertained that Great 
Britain would immediately seize upon Cuba. In any event, it is 



94 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

almost certain that upon the occurrence of the first favorable 
opportunity she will endeavor to obtain a cession of this Island 
for the ostensible purpose of discharging the debts due to her 
subjects from the Spanish Government. And it may here be 
observed that these are rapidly accumulating by the addition of 
the accruing interest. 

But let me present another view of the subject. If Cuba 
were annexed to the United States, we should not only be re- 
lieved from the apprehensions which we can never cease to feel 
for our own safety and the security of our commerce whilst it 
shall remain in its present condition, but human foresight cannot 
anticipate the beneficial consequences which would result to every 
portion of our Union. This can never become a local question. 

1. With suitable fortifications at the Tortugas, and in pos- 
session of the strongly fortified harbor of Havana as a naval 
station on the opposite Coast of Cuba, we could command the 
outlet of the Gulf of Mexico between the Peninsula of Florida 
and that Island. This would afford ample security both to the 
foreign and coasting trade of the Western and Southern States 
which seek a market for their surplus productions through the 
Ports on the Gulf. 

2. Under the Government of the United States, Cuba would 
become the richest and most fertile Island of the same extent 
throughout the world. According to Macgregor's Commercial 
regulations and his Commercial Statistics, " In 1830, of the 
468,523 caballerias of 32 English acres of land, which compose 
the whole territory, 38,276 were under sugar, coffee, tobacco, 
garden, and fruit cultivation, and 9,734 in grazing grounds and 
in unfelled woods belonging to sugar and coffee estates." It 
thus appears that in 1830 less than one-twelfth of the whole 
Island was under cultivation. The same author says, " we have 
no accounts of the present extent of cultivation in Cuba; but by 
comparing the value of the exportable produce of 1830 with that 
of 1842, and by various estimates, w^e consider it probable that 
the lands under sugar, coffee, tobacco, and gardens, may fairly 
be estimated at 54,000 caballerias, or 1,728,600 acres." Ac- 
cording to this estimate, between one-eighth and one-ninth, only, 
of the whole Island was under cultivation in 1842. The author 
proceeds, — " If we compare this extent with the remaining vast 
areas of the fertile soil of Cuba which are still uncultivated, and 
the produce which the whole Island at present yields, it can 



1848] TO MR. SAUNDERS 95 

scarcely be an exaggeration to say, that Europe might draw, as 
much Coffee and Sugar from Cuba alone as the quantity already 
consumed." 

Mr. Macgregor states the aggregate population of Cuba, in 
the year 1841, to have been only 1,007,624; but from the data 
which have just been presented, it may be fairly inferred that 
the Island of Cuba is capable of sustaining in comfort a popula- 
tion of ten millions of inhabitants. 

Were Cuba a portion of the United States, it would be 
difficult to estimate the amount of breadstuffs, rice, cotton, and 
other agricultural, as well as manufacturing and mechanical 
productions — of lumber, of the products of our fisheries, and 
of other articles, which would find a market in that Island, in 
exchange for their coffee, sugar, tobacco, and other productions. 
This would go on, increasing with the increase of its population 
and the development of its resources; and all portions of the 
Union would be benefited by the trade. 

Desirable, however, as the possession of this Island may 1>e 
to the United States, we would not acquire it except by the free 
consent of Spain. Any acquisition not sanctioned by justice 
and honor would be too dearly purchased. Whilst such is the 
determination of the President, it is supposed that the present 
relations between Cuba and Spain might incline the Spanish 
Government to cede the Island to the United States, upon the 
payment of a fair and full consideration. We have received 
information from various sources, both official and unofficial, 
that among the Creoles of Cuba there has long existed a deep- 
rooted hostility to Spanish dominion. The revolutions which are 
rapidly succeeding each other throughout the world have inspired 
the Cubans with an ardent and irrepressible desire to achieve their 
independence. Indeed, we are informed by the Consul of the 
United States at the Havana that " there appears every probabil- 
ity that the Island will soon be in a State of civil war." He also 
states, that " efforts are now being made to raise money for that 
purpose in the United States, and there will be attempts to induce 
a few of the volunteer regiments now in Mexico to obtain their 
discharge and join in the Revolution." 

I need scarcely inform you that the Government of the 
United States has had no agency whatever in exciting the spirit 
of disaffection among the Cubans. Very far from it. A short 
time after we received this information from our Consul, I ad- 
dressed a despatch to him, of which I transmit you a copy, dated 



96 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

on the Qth Instant, from which you will perceive that I have 
warned him to keep a watchful guard both upon his words and 
actions, so as to avoid even the least suspicion that he had en- 
couraged the Cubans to rise in insurrection against the Spanish 
Government. I stated, also, that the relations between Spain 
and the United States had long been of the most friendly char- 
acter; and both honor and duty required that we should take no 
part in the struggle which he seemed to think was impending. 

I informed him that it would certainly '' become the duty of 
this Government to use all proper means to prevent any of our 
volunteer regiments, now in Mexico, from violating the neutrality 
of the country by joining in the proposed civil war of the Cubans 
against Spain." 

Since the date of my despatch to him, this duty has been 
performed. The Secretary of War, by command of the Presi- 
dent, on the day following, (June lOth), addressed an order to 
our commanding general in Mexico, and also to the officer having 
charge of the embarkation of our troops at Vera Cruz, (of which 
I transmit you a copy,) directing each of them '' to use all proper 
measures to counteract any such plan, if one should be on foot; " 
and instructing them " to give orders that the transports, on 
which the troops may embark, proceed directly to the United 
States, and in no event to touch at any place in Cuba." 

The Consul in his despatch to me, also, stated that " if the 
revolution is attempted and succeeds, immediate application 
would be made to the United States for annexation," &c. ; but 
he did not seem to think that it could be successful, and probably 
might not be undertaken without the aid of American troops. 
To this portion of the despatch I replied, knowing the ardent 
desire of the Cubans to be annexed to our Union, that I thought 
it would not be " difficult to predict that an unsuccessful rising 
would delay, if it should not defeat, the annexation of the Island 
to the United States," and I assured him that the aid of our 
volunteer troops could not be obtained. 

Thus you will perceive with what scrupulous fidelity we have 
performed the duties of neutrality and friendship towards Spain. 
It is our anxious hope that a rising may not be attempted in 
Cuba; but if this should unfortunately occur, the Government 
of the United States will have performed their whole duty 
towards a friendly Power. 

Should the Government of Spain feel disposed to part with 
the Island of Cuba, the question, what should we offer for it, 



1848] TO MR. SAUNDERS 97 

would then arise. In deciding- this question, it will be important 
to ascertain — 

1. What nett revenue it yields, at the present moment, to 
the Royal Treasury, after deducting all the expenditure incurred 
on its account; and 

2. What nett revenue would it yield to the Government of 
the United States in its present condition ? 

The first inquiry I have no means of answering with ac- 
curacy. McCulloch, in his Gazetteer, states that " the whole 
revenues of the Island, at an average of the five years ending 
with 1837, amounted to $8,945,581 per year;" and it is stated 
in Hunt's Merchant's Magazine for October, 1845, that the 
revenue for the year 1844 amounted to $10,490,252.87^. Since 
1844, we have no information on the subject in the Department, 
upon which reliance can be placed. 

Mr. Calderon informs me that the Spanish Treasury at 
Madrid have never received from Cuba, in any one year, a sum 
exceeding $2,000,000. In answer to an inquiry, how the re- 
mainder of the revenue was expended, he stated that it was 
appropriated to defray the expense of its Colonial Government, 
and to pay and support the troops and maintain the vessels of 
war necessary for its defence and security. It will occur to you, 
that if Spain should cede Cuba to the United States, she would 
at once relieve herself from a great part if not the whole of this 
civil, military, and naval expenditure. In this view of the 
subject, it would seem that the sum of $50,000,000 would be an 
ample pecuniary indemnity to Spain for the loss of the Island. 

2. What nett revenue would it yield to the Government of 
the United States at the present moment? 

In estimating the amount of this revenue, we must mainly 
rely upon two sources, — duties on imports, and the proceeds of 
the public lands. 

Of the average revenue of $8,945,581 for the five years 
ending with 1837, McCulloch states, that " the maritime duties 
formed 61 per cent.; the internal taxes 22^ per cent; the 
ecclesiastical deductions i J4 per cent. ; the personal deductions 
2j^ per cent.; the miscellaneous revenues 2j^ per cent.; and the 
casual revenues i0/4 per cent." Now it is manifest that if Cuba 
were in the possession of the United States, the people would be 
relieved from the greater part, if not the whole, of these contri- 
butions, with the exception of the maritime duties. Besides, a 
considerable proportion of these maritime duties are levied upon 

Vol. VIII— 7 



98 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

exports, which the Constitution of the United States would 
forbid. 

But the important inquiry on this branch of the subject is, 
what amount of duties could we collect in the Island; and this 
must depend upon the amount of the imports. This we can 
ascertain for many years, up till 1844, inclusive, from the tables 
published annually by the Intendente of the Island. The fol- 
lowing tabular statement, extracted from Hunt's Magazine, is 
doubtless correct. 



Years 


Imports. 


Exports. 


1840 


$24,700, 189.3 T>4 


$25,94i,783-37>^ 


1841 


25,081,408.50 


26,774,614.56% 


1842 


24,637,527.25 


26,684,701.00 


1843 


23,422,096.43% 


25,029,792.621^ 


1844 


25,056,231.06^4 


25,426,591.1834 



Admitting that these imports have increased to $26,000,000 
since 1844, and estimating the average rate of our duties under 
the existing Tariff at 2^ per cent., — which the Secretary of the 
Treasury informs me is correct, within a small fraction, — ^the 
revenue from imports would amount to $6,500,000. But from 
this sum must be deducted that portion of it which arises from 
duties on productions of the United States imported into Cuba. 
The total value of these during the year ending the 30th June, 
1846, according to the books of our Custom-House, was 
$4,713,966. Estimating for their increased value, at the Custom- 
Houses in Cuba, in consequence of freight and other charges, it 
would approximate the truth to state that one-fifth of the imports 
into Cuba consists of American productions. Then in order to 
shew what revenue we would derive from imports into Cuba, we 
must deduct one-fifth from $6,500,000, and the balance remain- 
ing, $5,200,000, would be the amount. 

It may be remarked, however, that our acquisition of the 
Island would, doubtless, considerably increase the annual mili- 
tary and naval expenditures of the United States. 

But these calculations all refer to Cuba in its present condi- 
tion. Were it a possession of the United States, its population 
and industry, and consequently its exports, would rapidly increase 
and produce proportionally increased imports. Indeed, it is 
highly probable that during the very first year, the duties would 
amount to a sum not less than $6,000,000. 



1848] TO MR. SAUNDERS 99 

In regard to the quantity of public lands still remaining in 
Cuba, the Department does not possess accurate information. 
From all that we have learned, it is believed that the Crown 
of Spain has already granted by far the greater portion of the 
whole territory of the Island to individuals. We need not, there- 
fore, calculate upon deriving much revenue from this source. 

Upon the whole, the President would not hesitate to stipulate 
for the payment of one hundred millions of dollars, in convenient 
instalments, for a cession of the Island of Cuba, if it could not 
be procured for a less sum. 

The apprehensions which existed for many years after the 
origin of this Government, that the extension of our federal 
system would endanger the Union, seem to have passed away. 
Experience has proved that this system of confederated Repub- 
lics, under which the Federal Government has charge of the 
interests common to the whole, whilst local Governments watch 
over the concerns of the respective States, is capable of almost 
indefinite extension, with increasing strength. Tliis, however, 
is always subject to the qualification that the mass of the popula- 
tion must be of our own race, or must have been educated in 
the school of civil and religious liberty. With this qualification, 
the more we increase the number of confederated States, the 
greater will be the strength and security of the Union; because 
the more dependent for their mutual interests will the several 
parts be upon the whole and the whole upon the several parts. 

It is true that of the 418,291 white inhabitants which Cuba 
contained in 1841, a very large proportion is of the Spanish race. 
Still many of our citizens have settled on the Island, and some 
of them are large holders of property. Under our Government 
it would speedily be Americanized, — as Louisiana has been. 

Within the boundaries of such a federal system alone can a 
trade exempt from duties and absolutely free be enjoyed. With 
the possession of Cuba, we should have, throughout the Union, 
a free trade on a more extended scale than any which the world 
has ever witnessed, — arousing an energy and activity of competi- 
tion which would result in a most rapid improvement in all that 
contributes to the welfare and happiness of the human race. 
What State would forego the advantages of this vast free trade 
with all her sisters, and place herself in lonely isolation! 

But the acquisition of Cuba would greatly strengthen our 
bond of Union. Its possession would secure to all the States 
within the valley of the Mississippi and Gulf of Mexico free 



100 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

access to the ocean; but this security could only be preserved 
whilst the ship-building and navigating- States of the Atlantic 
shall furnish a navy sufficient to keep open the outlets from the 
Gulf to the Ocean. Cuba, justly appreciating the advantages of 
annexation, is now ready to rush into our arms. Once admitted, 
she would be entirely dependent for her prosperity, and even 
existence, upon her connexion with the Union ; whilst the rapidly 
increasing trade between her and the other States would shed its 
benefits and its blessings over the whole. Such a state of mutual 
dependence, resulting from the very nature of things, the world 
has never witnessed. This is what will insure the perpetuity of 
our Union. 

With all these considerations in view, the President believes 
that the crisis has arrived when an effort should be made to pur- 
chase the Island of Cuba from Spain, and he has determined to 
intrust you with the performance of this most delicate and im- 
portant duty. The attempt should be made, in the first instance, 
in a confidential conversation with the Spanish Minister for 
Foreign Affairs. A written offer might produce an absolute 
refusal in writing, which would embarrass us, hereafter, in the 
acquisition of the Island. Besides, from the incessant changes 
in the Spanish Cabinet and policy, our desire to make the pur- 
chase might thus be made known in an official form to Foreign 
Governments and arouse their jealousy and active opposition. 
Indeed, even if the present Cabinet should think favorably of the 
proposition, they might be greatly embarrassed by having it 
placed on record; for, in that event, it would almost certainly, 
through some channel, reach the opposition, and become the 
subject of discussion in the Cortes. Such delicate negotiations, 
at least in their incipient stages, ought always to be conducted in 
confidential conversation, and with the utmost secrecy and 
despatch. 

At your interview with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, 
you might introduce the subject by referring to the present dis- 
tracted condition of Cuba, and the danger which exists that the 
population will make an attempt to accomplish a revolution. 
This must be well known to the Spanish Government. In order 
to convince him of the good faith and friendship towards Spain 
with which this Government has acted, you might read to him 
the first part of my despatch to General Campbell, and the order 
issued by the Secretary of War to the Commanding General in 
Mexico, and to the officer having charge of the embarkation of 



1848] TO MR. SAUNDERS 101 

our troops at Vera Cruz. You may then touch dehcately upon 
the danger that Spain may lose Cuba by a revolution in the 
Island, or that it may be wrested from her by Great Britain, 
should a rupture take place between the two countries, arising 
out of the dismissal of Sir Henry Bulwer, and be retained to pay 
the Spanish debt due to the British Bond-holders. You might 
assure him, that whilst this Government is entirely satisfied that 
Cuba shall remain under the dominion of Spain, we should, in 
any event, resist its acquisition by any other nation. And, 
finally, you might inform him, that under all these circumstances, 
the President had arrived at the conclusion that Spain might be 
willing to transfer the Island to the United States for a fair and 
full consideration. You might cite as a precedent the cession of 
Louisiana to this country by Napoleon, under somewhat similar 
circumstances, when he was at the zenith of his power and glory. 
I have merely presented these topics in their natural order ; and 
you can fill up the outline from the information communicated in 
this despatch, as well as from your own knowledge of the subject. 

Should the Minister for Foreign Affairs lend a favorable 
ear to your proposition, then the question of the consideration to 
be paid would arise ; and you have been furnished with informa- 
tion in this despatch which will enable you to discuss that ques- 
tion. In justice to Mr. Calderon, I ought here to observe, that 
whilst giving me the information before stated, in regard to the 
nett amount of revenue from Cuba which reached old Spain, he 
had not then, and has not now, the most remote idea of our 
intention to make an attempt to purchase the Island. 

The President would be willing to stipulate for the payment 
of one hundred millions of dollars for the Island, and its de- 
pendencies, in ten equal annual instalments. This, however, is 
the maximum price; and if Spain should be willing to sell, you 
will use your best efforts to purchase it at a rate as much below 
that sum as practicable. In case you should be able to conclude 
a Treaty, you may adopt as your model, so far as the same may 
be applicable, the two Conventions of April 30th, 1803, between 
France and the United States, for the sale and purchase of 
Louisiana. The Seventh and Eighth Articles of the first of these 
Conventions, ought, if possible, to be omitted; still if this should 
be indispensable to the accomplishment of the object, articles 
similar to them may be retained. 

I transmit you a Full Power to conclude such a Treaty. 

You will be careful to make a full and faithful report to this 



102 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

Department of all the conversations and proceedings on this sub- 
ject between yourself and the Spanish Minister for Foreign 
Affairs. 

Should you succeed in accomplishing the object, you will 
associate your name with a most important and beneficial meas- 
ure for the glory and prosperity of your country. 
Yours, very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 
Romulus M. Saunders, Esqre. 

P. S. — You will send your despatches on the subject of this 
despatch by a Special Messenger to our Consul at Liverpool, and 
draw upon the Department for the expense, unless you can 
transmit them by a trusty person. They may be directed to the 
President. You may probably have occasion, in relation to this 
subject, to use the cypher of the Legation. 



TO MR. VINTON. 



Department of State, 

Washington, 19th Tune, 1848. 
Hon. Samuel F. Vinton, 

Chairman Com. Ways & Means, H. R. 
Sir: 

In obedience to a request of the Judiciary Committee of the 
House of Representatives, I addressed a note on the i6th March, 
18^6, to the Hon. George Rathburn, Chairman of that Commit- 
tee, recommending a re-organization of the State Department. 
In that note I expressed the opinion that this Department in its 
present defective organization '' is wholly inadequate to perform 
the duties which it owes to the country." Subsequent experience 
has confirmed me in this opinion; but I shall leave to my suc- 
cessor, whoever he may be, to recommend such changes as he 
may consider necessary. 

There is one new Clerkship, however, which I deem indis- 
pensable at the present moment: for the purpose of examining 
the facts and the principles involved in the private claims of 
citizens of the United States upon foreign Governments, in 
which the agency of the Department is so often invoked; and 



^MSS. Department of State, Report Book, VI. 267. 



1848] TO MR. VINTON 103 

also, in the private claims presented by foreign Governments 
ag-ainst the United States in behalf of their citizens. Many- 
claims of the latter description, arising out of the Mexican War, 
have been already presented and many more are anticipated. 

In my note to the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, to 
v^hich I have already referred, I observed that '' no claim ought 
ever to be presented to a foreign government, in the name of the 
nation, until it shall have undergone a careful scrutiny, and the 
Department shall have ascertained that it presents at least a clear 
prima facie case of justice. This is due alike to our National 
character and to the cause of justice. For the want of an ade- 
quate force to make such examinations, it has been too often 
the practice to transmit these private claims to our Legations 
abroad, without due consideration, to be there advocated and 
urged. The tendency of this practice has been to perplex and 
embarrass our diplomatic agents; to involve them in useless and 
irritating controversies with those to whom they are accredited; 
to excite prejudice and ill feeling against our citizens; and to 
endanger the character of our country for fair dealing with 
nations of the world." 

It is believed that a person sufficiently acquainted with the 
principles of Commercial and International Law, to discharge 
these important duties could not be procured for a less salary than 
$2000. 

I would, therefore, respectfully suggest to the Committee 
the propriety of making provision, in the Civil Appropriation 
Bill, for the employment of an additional Clerk in the State 
Department, whose duty it shall be to examine claims of citizens 
of the United States against Foreign Governments and claims 
of the citizens of Foreign Governments against the United States 
and to perform such other duties as the Secretary of State may 
designate. 

I am. Sir, Respectfully, &c. 

James Buchanan. 



104 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO MR. WILLIAMS/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, June 21, 1848. 
Hon. Hezektah W^illiams, 

of the Ho. Reps. U. S. 
Sir: 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note 
of the 17th inst., enclosing the depositions of the master and 
three of the crew of the American fishing schooner '' Ityades," 
of Eastport, Maine, seized in the Bay of Fundy by the British 
revenue cutter " Daring " in May last, and taken into the port 
of Digby in Nova Scotia, and requesting such intervention on 
the part of this Department as the facts represented would seem 
to justify, in defence of the rights and interests of the master 
and owners of said schooner. 

This vessel was doubtless captured under the ist article of 
the Treaty of the 20th October, 181 8. It was the duty of the 
master to appear before the competent court and resist the con- 
demnation. If this be done and a clear case of injustice should 
be made out in the decision of the competent tribunal, then this 
Government would interfere. But it is not competent for the 
master to abandon his vessel, leave the case without defence, and 
then appeal to this Government to make it an international ques- 
tion. In a similar case, we would not recognize such a claim 
ourselves. I am, &c., 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. MASON.^ 



Department of State, 

Washington, June 23rd, 1848. 
Hon : John Y. Mason 

Secretary of the Navy. 
Sir, 

I enclose for your information a copy of a letter, received 
this day from A/[essrs. B. C. Clark & Co., dated " Boston June 



^ MSS. Department of State, 36 Domestic Letters, 445. No claim appears 
to have been presented in this case to the mixed commission under the claims 
convention between the United States and Great Britain of Feb. 8, 1853. 

^MSS. Department of State, Despatches to Consuls, XIII. 78. 



1848] TO MR. RANTOUL 105 

2ist, 1848," Upon the subject of the happy effect produced at 
Aux Cayes, Hayti, by the visit of the Sloop of War Saratoga, 
and asking that the protection of the Government be also ex- 
tended to our Citizens residing at Cape Haytien, Port au Prince, 
& Jacmel. 

I have the honor to be &c. 

James Buchanan. 

P. S. I also enclose for your perusal two letters received 
from the U. S. Commercial Agents at Port au Prince & Aux 
Cayes relating to the present deplorable state of affairs in the 
Island of Playti, and the insecurity of the lives & property of 
foreign residents. 



TO MR. RANTOUL.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 23d June, 1848. 
Robert Rantoul, Esq., 

Attorney of U. S. for District of Mass., Boston. 
Sir: 

The Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Vene- 
zuela has addressed a communication to this Department stating 
that it had been announced that Mr. Juan Manuel Manrique, 
formerly the Venezuelan Minister of Finance and Foreign Rela- 
tions, had repaired to this country in quest of succor for the 
party in arms against the existing Government of Venezuela, 
and expressing the confidence of that Government that the Gov- 
ernment of the U. S. would not allow any expedition to be 
organized or assistance for the purpose of hostilities against 
Venezuela to be obtained, within our territory. 

The President consequently directs that you will be vigilant 
in detecting any violation of the Act of Congress approved 20th 
April, 1818, entitled " An Act in addition to the ' Act for the 
punishment of certain crimes against the United States ' and to 
repeal the Act therein mentioned," and that if a violation of that 
Act by Mr. Manrique or any other person shall come to your 
knowledge, you will prosecute the offenders accordingly. 

T am, &c., 

James Buchanan. 

^ MSS. Department of State, 36 Domestic Letters, 452. 



106 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO MR. PALFREY/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, June 24, 1848. 
Hon. John G. Palfrey, 

House of Representatives. 
Sir: 

I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 17th inst., 
in behalf of the Joint Committee on the Library; and in answer 
I cannot say that, in my opinion, " the Government derived essen- 
tial assistance from the manuscripts of Captain Ingraham in 
substantiating their claim to the Oregon Territory." 

The manuscript journal of Captain Ingraham's second voy- 
age to the Pacific, when he commanded the brig Hope, of Boston, 
is now in possession of the Department of State. It consists of 
four volumes neatly written and embellished by numerous charts 
and other drawings; and contains many particulars, relative to 
the Pacific ocean and the inhabitants of its coasts during the years 
1 79 1, 2, and 3. 

In my examination of the Oregon question I did not refer 
to this Journal. Indeed I had not seen it until after that ques- 
tion was finally settled. It is but just, however, to state, that 
the History of Oregon and California, by Robert Greenhow, 
frequently refers to Ingraham's Journal : and it was from this 
history that my information as to the facts in support of our 
claim was principally derived. According to my best recollec- 
tion, however, the only extract from the Journal in Mr. Green- 
how's book (vide page 413) to which I attached any importance 
either as strengthening our title or weakening that of Great 
Britain, is the letter of Captains Gray and Ingraham to the 
Spanish Commandant at Nootka, dated August 3d, 1792. This 
letter constituted an item in the mass of testimony proving that 
no British settlement had ever been made at Nootka Sound. But 
notwithstanding this, Nootka, with Vancouver's Island on which 
it is situated, has been assigned to Great Britain, under the 
Treaty of Limits of the 15th June, 1846. 

I return you the papers which accompanied your letter. 
Yours very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 



^ MSS. Department of State, 36 Domestic Letters, 447. 



1848] TO MR. GRINNELL 107 

TO U. S. CONSULS/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, June 26th, 1848. 
to the respective consuls of the 

United States in Europe. 
Sir, 

This letter will be handed to you by A. Dudley Mann, Esqre., 
of Washington, who goes abroad, under instructions from this 
Department, with the view of collecting particular information 
relative to the rules and regulations observed in different Coun- 
tries of Europe concerning Emigrants to the United States. I 
take pleasure in commending Mr. Mann and the object of his 
Mission to your favorable notice, and in requesting that you will 
afford him all the facilities in your power, in obtaining the 
information desired. 

I am, Sir, &c. 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. GRINNELL.^ 

Department of State, 

W^ASHINGTON, 26th JuUC, 1 848. 

Hon. J. Grinnell, 

House of Representatives. 
Sir: 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter 
of the 22d instant, accompanied by one addressed to you by 
Matthew Crosby, Esq., of Nantucket, asking for the interposi- 
tion of this Government towards recovering reparation from the 
Government of Peru for an alleged wrongful seizure by officers 
of that Government of a quantity of clothing on board the whale 
ship Washington in the harbor of Callao. 

It appears from Mr. Crosby's letter that the subject had 



^MSS. Department of State, Despatches to Consuls, XII. 386, 
^ MSS. Department of State, 36 Domestic Letters, 448. This claim was 
laid before the mixed commission under the claims convention between the 
United States and Peru of Jan. 12, 1863. The umpire disallowed it on the 
ground that the seizure of the articles, which were afterwards returned, was 
made because of the claimant's failure to comply with customs regulations. 
(Moore, International Arbitrations, II. 1629.) 



108 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

been brought to the notice of our Consul and Charge d' Affaires 
at Lima. No despatches in regard to it have been received from 
either of those officers. From the high character, however, 
which they both enjoy for intelHgence and promptness, in mat- 
ters of business, Mr. Crosby may be sure that nothing which it 
might be proper to do toward obtaining redress will have been 
omitted by them. It is presumed that the laws of Peru permit 
and require the legality of such seizures to be judicially con- 
tested. If this course shall have been pursued, and it shall then 
appear that flagrant injustice has been done to the claimants, in- 
demnification will be demanded of the Peruvian Government. 
Two copies of the protest of the master of the vessel, and of 
the account of damages claimed for the seizure, should be com- 
municated to this Department, one to be transmitted to the 
Charge d'Affaires at Lima, and the other to be retained on our 
files for future reference. 

I have the honor, &c., 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. HOPKINS.^ 

(No. 5.) Department of State, 

Washington, 27th June, 1848. 
George W. Hopkins, Esqre., 

&c., &c., Lisbon. 
Sir: 

Your despatch of the i8th April, (not numbered,) has 
been received. 

The Department entirely approves of the course pursued by 
you in regard to the vexatious treatment to which the masters of 
American vessels have been subjected in the ports of Portugal; 
and it is to be hoped that your representations on the subject to 
the Portuguese Government may be promptly followed by proper 
relief. You will continue to exert yourself to have an end put 
to these and all other annoyances of which citizens of the L^nited 
States have had cause to complain, by remonstrating against 
them, and demanding redress in the name of your Government. 

Your suggestion in reference to the importance of ordering 
our vessels of war to touch at the European ports along the 



MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Portugal, XIV. 103. 



1848] TO MR. ELLSWORTH 109 

Atlantic Coast has been communicated to the Navy Department. 
I am, Sir, respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. VINTON.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, June 27, 1848. 
Hon. Samuel F. Vinton, 

Chairman Com. of Ways & Means, 
House of Representatives. 
Sir: 

Upon the request of Samuel L. Harris, Esq., the agent of 
the states of Maine and Massachusetts, I have the honor of 
transmitting to you the enclosed documents filed in this Depart- 
ment in support of a claim of these states against the Govern- 
ment of the U. S. under the 4th article of the Treaty concluded 
at Washington on the 9th day of August, 1842, between Great 
Britain and the United States, for such action as you may deem 
just and equitable. 

Yours very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. ELLSWORTH.^ 

(No. 14.) Department of State, 

Washington, 29th June, 1848. 
Henry W. Ellsworth, Esqre., 

&c., &c., Stockholm. 
Sir: 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your des- 
patches to No. 59, inclusive, and of your private letters of the 
2nd February and 23rd March. Numbers 28 and 29 have never 
reached the Department. No. 37 is dated the 13th July, and 
No. 40, which succeeded it, the loth November of last year, 
leaving a gap in your correspondence of nearly four months. 



^MSS. Department of State, 36 Domestic Letters, 450. 
''MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Sweden, XIV. 39- 



110 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

In answer to your No. 45, to which you advert in subsequent 
despatches, requesting instructions, I may remark, that I still 
indulge the hope that, in the conflicting interests which appear to 
divide and distract the Diet, in reference to contemplated changes 
in the Tariff, no measures will be adopted which may jeopard 
the existing commercial relations between the two countries. 

In my despatch, No. 12, of the 13th of May, of last year, I 
have entered fully upon the subject of our commercial relations 
with Sweden and Norway, and furnished you with general in- 
structions to guide your conduct. You will omit no occasion to 
explain, in the proper quarters, these views and feelings of your 
Government. 

In regard to the " proviso," of which you have transmitted 
a copy in your number 45, under which the spirit of our Treaty 
of reciprocity with Sweden would be annulled, and American 
vessels would no longer enjoy the rights to which they are 
entitled under that Treaty, it can scarcely be anticipated that this 
proviso will be adopted by the Diet. Against any such measure 
you will protest in the most earnest manner; and distinctly an- 
nounce to the Government that its adoption will force the United 
States into the abrogation of the subsisting Treaty between the 
two countries. 

I rely with confidence upon your exertions in regard to a 
subject which you so well understand. 

I am. Sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. CRAMPTON.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 30th June, 1848. 
John F. Crampton, Esore., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

In answer to your note of the 25th ultimo, I have the honor 
to transmit to you a copy of my letter to the Honble. Joseph R. 
Ingersoll, Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary of the 
House of Representatives: and to inform you that a bill has 



^MSS. Department of State, Notes to Great Britain, VII. 184. 



1848] TO MR. McKAY 111 

already passed that House to secure the faithful execution of our 
treaties of extradition with foreign Governments. 

I avail myself of this occasion to renew to you, Sir, the assur- 
ance of my high consideration. 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. McKAY.^ 

Department of State, 

Waspiington, I St July, 1848. 
Hon. James J. McKay, 

House of Representatives. 
Sir: 

In answer to the enquiry of your correspondent, Mr. W. S. 
Ashe, whose letter you have left at this Department, I have to 
state, that the two claims upon the Government of Texas to which 
he refers are presumed to be those in the cases of the brig Pocket 
and the brig Durango. By instructions under date the 226. 
July, 1837, Mr. La Branche, the Charge d' Affaires of the U. S. 
to that Government, was directed to present them with a demand 
for reparation. The Pocket was captured on the 28th March, 
1836, by the Texian armed schooner Invincible, taken into Gal- 
veston, and, with her cargo, appropriated without trial or con- 
demnation by persons claiming to act under the authority of the 
Government of Texas. The Durango was seized in Matagorda 
bay, on the 22d of March, 1836, by an armed force acting under 
the orders of John A. Wharton, Adjutant General of Texas, and 

Brown, Commander of the same schooner Invincible. 

She was consequently abandoned by her master. 

Mr. La Branche's application for redress in these cases was 
ultimately successful. On the nth of April, 1838, he concluded 
at Houston a formal convention upon the subject, by which the 
Government of Texas stipulated to pay to the Government of the 
U. S. eleven thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars in satis- 
faction of the claims. This convention was duly ratified by both 
Governments, and the money was paid and distributed pursuant 
to its provisions. 

Mr. Ashe's letter to you is herewith returned. 
I have the honor, &c., 

James Buchanan. 

^MSS. Department of State, 36 Domestic Letters, 453. 



112 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO MR. PARKER/ 

No. 5. Department of State, 

Washington, ist July, 1848. 
Peter Parker, Esq. 

&c. &c. &c. 
Sir: 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your de- 
spatches to No. 46, inclusive. The Department approves your 
interposition in behalf of the two Italian Bishops and the Spanish 
Missionary, spoken of in your No. 43, and will, in accordance with 
your suggestion, communicate the correspondence growing out 
of this affair to our diplomatic representative at Rome. 

I regret, though, from your previous communications, I am 
not surprised to learn, " that one or other of two alternatives is 
inevitable, either tacitly to consent that the treaty become a dead 
letter, as far as any of its provisions are at variance with the 
prejudices, interests, and policy of the Chinese, or by some demon- 
stration to evince to the Imperial Government that treaties are 
sacred and must be maintained." 

This Government is both able and willing to perform the 
duty which it owes to American citizens, by enforcing their just 
claims under the treaty against the Government of China : and I 
am happy to inform you that, before this can probably reach 
Canton, our squadron in the Chinese seas will consist of the 
sloops of war the Plymouth and the Preble and the brig Dolphin. 
The Ohio seventy-four is now in the Pacific: and the Secretary 
of the Navy informs me, that he wnll immediately send orders 
to her to visit China on her return to the United States. Whilst 
our squadron cannot act offensively without the authority of 
Congress, yet its presence may, and I trust will, enable you to 
obtain redress for our injured citizens. The arrival of Mr. Davis, 
our new Commissioner, on board of the Plymouth, will present a 
favorable occasion for urging our claims. It is earnestly hoped 
that the Chinese Government will then feel the necessity of retrac- 
ing its steps and executing the treaty in good faith. 

As no use is made here of the Chinese versions of the corre- 
spondence between the United States Commissioner at Canton 
and the Imperial Government, and as their transmission hither by 
the overland route through India is attended with heavy postage 



^MSS. Department of State, Instructions, China, I. 54. 



1848] TO MR. STILES 113 

charges, it would be well hereafter to omit forwarding tran- 
scripts, the preparation of which must necessarily cost you much 
additional labor. 

I am, Sir, respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. STILES.^ 



No. 22. Department of State, 

Washington, 6th July, 1848. 
William H. Stiles, Esqre., 

etc., etc., Vienna. 
Sir: — 

I wrote to you on the 27th ultimo. I have, since that time, 
received your despatch No. 31, of the 31st May, at the close of 
which you renew the personal request, made in a former com- 
munication, to be permitted to employ the services of an indi- 
vidual whose task it would be "to seek and procure for you 
information which could not but be considered both extraordinary 
and important." 

In answer, I have to state, that I have submitted your propo- 
sition to the President, who, whilst he justly appreciates the val- 
uable information which you have, from time to time, communi- 
cated, in regard to the astounding events which are transpiring 
in the Austrian Empire, is yet unwilling to grant your request. 
There is no precedent for the employment, at the public expense, 
of any agent to assist a Charge d'Affaires in the performance of 
his duties : and it is not deemed expedient to establish such a 
precedent, even on the present occasion. Other Charges on the 
Continent of Europe have, also, performed their duty in collecting 
and communicating to this Department important information 
concerning the political changes which are occurring within the 
sphere of their observation. It would be necessary to place them 
on the same footing with yourself, and this would go far to ex- 
haust the limited fund provided for the contingent expenses of 
foreign intercourse. 

I am, Sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



* MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Austria, I. 52. 
Vol. VIII— 8 



114 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

MESSAGE, JULY 6, 1848, 

OF PRESIDENT POLK.i 

To THE Senate and House of Representatives of the United States : 

I lay before Congress copies of a treaty of peace, friendship, limits, and 
settlement, between the United States and the Mexican republic, the ratifi- 
cations of which were duly exchanged at the city of Queretaro, in Mexico, 
on the 30th day of May, 1848. 

The war in which our country was reluctantly involved, in the necessary 
vindication of the national rights and honor, has been thus terminated, and 
I congratulate Congress, and our common constituents, upon the restoration 
of an honorable peace. 

The extensive and valuable territories ceded by Mexico to the United 
States constitute indemnity for the past, and the brilliant achievements and 
signal successes of our arms will be a guaranty of security for the future, 
by convincing all nations that our rights must be respected. The results 
of the war with Mexico have given to the United States a national character 
abroad which our country never before enjoyed. Our power and our re- 
sources have become known, and are respected throughout the world, and 
we shall probably be saved from the necessity of engaging in another foreign 
v;ar for a long series of years. It is a subject of congratulation that we 
have passed through a war of more than two years' duration with the 
business of the country uninterrupted, with our resources unexhausted, and» 
the public credit unimpaired. 

I communicate for the information of Congress the accompanying docu- 
ments and correspondence relating to the negotiation and ratification of 
the treaty. 

Before the treaty can be fully executed on the part of the United States, 
legislation will be required. 

It will be proper to make the necessary appropriations for the payment 
of the twelve millions of dollars stipulated by the twelfth article to be paid 
to Mexico in four equal annual instalments. Three millions of dollars were 
appropriated by the act of March 3, 1847, and that sum was paid to the 
Mexican government after the exchange of the ratifications of the treaty. 

The fifth article of the treaty provides that, " in order to designate 
the boundary line with due precision upon authoritative maps, and to estab- 
lish, upon the ground, land marks which shall show the limits of both repub- 
lics, as described in the present article, the two governments shall each 
appoint a commissioner and a surveyor, who, before the expiration of one 
year from the date of the exchange of ratifications of this treaty, shall meet 
at the port of San Diego, and proceed to run and mark the said boundary 
in its whole course to the mouth of the Rio Bravo del Norte." 

It will be necessary that provision should be made by law for the 
appointment of a commissioner and surveyor, on the part of the United 
States, to act in conjunction with a commissioner and surveyor appointed 
by Mexico, in executing the stipulations of this article. 

It will be proper, also, to provide by law for the appointment of a 
"board of commissioners" to adjudicate and decide upon all claims of our 



' S. Ex. Doc. 60, 30 Cong, i Sess. i. 



1848] MESSAGE OF THE PRESIDENT 115 

citizens against the Mexican government, which by the treaty have been 
assumed by the United States. 

New Mexico and Upper California have been ceded by Mexico to the 
United States, and now constitute a part of our country. Embracing nearly 
ten degrees of latitude, lying adjacent to the Oregon territory, and extending 
from the Pacific ocean to the Rio Grande, a mean distance of nearly a 
thousand miles, it would be difficult to estimate the value of these possessions 
to the United States. They constitute of themselves a country large enough 
for a great empire, and their acquisition is second only in importance to that 
of Louisiana in 1803. Rich in mineral and agricultural resources, with a 
climate of great salubrity, they embrace the most important ports on the 
whole Pacific coast of the continent of North America, The possession 
of the ports of San Diego and Monterey and the bay of San Francisco will 
enable the United States to command the already valuable and rapidly in- 
creasing commerce of the Pacific. The number of our whale ships alone 
now employed in that sea exceeds seven hundred, requiring more than twenty 
thousand seamen to navigate them, while the capital invested in this par- 
ticular branch of commerce is estimated at not less than forty millions of 
dollars. The excellent harbors of Upper California will, under our flag, 
afford security and repose to our commercial marine, and American mechanics 
will soon furnish ready means of ship-building and repair, which are now 
so much wanted in that distant sea. 

By the acquisition of these possessions, we are brought into immediate 
proximity with the west coast of America, from Cape Horn to the Russian 
possessions north of Oregon, with the islands of the Pacific ocean, and by 
a direct voyage in steamers we will be in less than thirty days of Canton 
and other ports of China. 

In this vast region, whose rich resources are soon to be developed by 
American energy and enterprise, great must be the augmentation of our 
commerce, and with it new and profitable demands for mechanic labor in 
all its branches, and new and valuable markets for our manufactures and 
agricultural products. 

While the war has been conducted with great humanity and forbearance, 
and with complete success on our part, the peace has been concluded on 
terms the most liberal and magnanimous to Mexico. In her hands the terri- 
tories now ceded had remained, and it is believed would have continued to 
remain, almost unoccupied and of little value to her or to any other nation, 
whilst, as a part of our Union, they will be productive of vast benefits to 
the United States, to the commercial world, and the general interests of 
mankind. 

The immediate establishment of territorial governments, and the exten- 
sion of our laws over these valuable possessions, are deemed to be not only 
important but indispensable to preserve order and the due administration 
of justice within their limits, to afford protection to the inhabitants, and 
to facilitate the development of the vast resources and wealth which their 
acquisition has added to our country. 

The war with Mexico having terminated, the power of the Executive 
to establish or to continue temporary civil governments over these territories, 
which existed under the laws of nations whilst they were regarded as con- 
quered provinces in our military occupation, has ceased. By their cession 
to the United States, Mexico has no longer any power over them, and, until 



116 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

Congress shall act, the inhabitants will be without any organized govern- 
ment. Should they be left in this condition, confusion and anarchy will be 
likely to prevail. 

Foreign commerce, to a considerable amount, is now carried on in the 
ports of Upper California, which will require to be regulated by our laws. 
As soon as our system shall be extended over this commerce, a revenue of 
considerable amount will be at once collected, and it is not doubted that it 
will be annually increased. For these and other obvious reasons, I deem 
it to be my duty, earnestly to recommend the action of Congress on the 
subject at the present session. 

In organizing governments over these territories, fraught with such vast 
advantages to every portion of our Union, I invoke that spirit of concession, 
conciliation, and compromise, in your deliberations, in which the Constitution 
was framed, in which it should be administered, and which is so indispen- 
sable to preserve and perpetuate the harmony and union of the States. We 
should never forget that this union of confederated States was established 
and cemented by kindred blood, and by the common toils, sufferings, dangers, 
and triumphs of all its parts, and has been the ever augmenting source of our 
national greatness and of all our blessings. 

There has, perhaps, been no period, since the warning so impressively 
given to his countrymen by Washington to guard against geographical divis- 
ions and sectional parties, which appeals with greater force than the present 
to the patriotic, sober-minded, and reflecting of all parties, and of all sections 
of our country. Who can calculate the value of our glorious Union? It is 
a model and example of free government to all the world, and is the star 
of hope and haven of rest to the oppressed of every clime. By its preser- 
vation we have been rapidly advanced, as a nation, to a height of strength, 
power, and happiness, without a parallel in the history of the world. As 
we extend its blessings over new regions, shall we be so unwise as to 
endanger its existence by geographical divisions and dissensions? 

With a view to encourage the early settlement of these distant posses- 
sions, I recommend that liberal grants of the public lands be secured to all 
our citizens who have settled, or may in a limited period settle, within 
their limits. 

In execution of the provisions of the treaty, orders have been issued 
to our military and naval forces to evacuate without delay the Mexican prov- 
inces, cities, towns, and fortified places in our military occupation, and 
which are not embraced in the territories ceded to the United States. The 
army is already on its way to the United States. That portion of it, as well 
regulars as volunteers, who engaged to serve during the war with Mexico, 
will be discharged as soon as they can be transported or marched to con- 
venient points in the vicinity of their homes. A part of the regular army 
will be employed in New Mexico and Upper California, to afford protection 
to the inhabitants and to guard our interests in these territories. 

The old army, as it existed before the commencement of the war with 
Mexico, especially if authority be given to fill up the rank and file of the 
several corps to the maximum number authorized during the war, it is be- 
lieved will be a sufficient force to be retained in service during a period of 
peace. A few additional officers, in the line and staff of the army, have been 
authorized, and these, it is believed, will be necessary in the peace establish- 
ment, and should be retained in the service. The number of the general 



1848] MESSAGE OF THE PRESIDENT 117 

officers may be reduced, as vacancies occur by the casualties of the service, 
to what it was before the war. 

While the people of other countries, who live under forms of government 
less free than our own, have been for ages oppressed by taxation, to support 
large standing armies in periods of peace, our experience has shown that 
such establishments are umiecessary in a republic. Our standing army is 
to be found in the bosom of society. It is composed of free citizens, who 
are ever ready to take up arms in the service of their country when an 
emergency requires it. Our experience in the war just closed fully confirms 
the opinion that such an army may be raised upon a few weeks' notice, and 
that our citizen soldiers are equal to any troops in the world. No reason, 
therefore, is perceived why we should enlarge our land forces and thereby 
subject the treasury to an annual charge. Sound policy requires that we 
should avoid the creation of a large standing army in a period of peace. 
No public exigency requires it. Such armies are not only expensive and 
unnecessary, but may become dangerous to liberty. 

Besides making the necessary legislative provisions for the execution 
of the treaty, and the establishment of territorial governments in the ceded 
country, we have, upon the restoration of peace, other important duties to 
perform. Among these I regard none as more important than the adoption 
of proper measures for the speedy extinguishment of the national debt. It 
is against sound policy and the genius of our institutions, that a public debt 
should be permitted to exist a day longer than the means of the treasury 
will enable the government to pay it off. We should adhere to the wise 
policy laid down by President Washington, of " avoiding the accumulation 
of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exer- 
tions in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars have 
occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden we ourselves 
ought to bear." 

At the commencement of the present administration, the public debt 
amounted to seventeen millions seven hundred and eighty-eight thousand 
seven hundred and ninety-nine dollars and sixty-two cents. In consequence 
of the war wath Mexico, it has been necessarily increased, and now amounts 
to sixty-five millions seven hundred and seventy-eight thousand four hundred 
and fifty dollars and forty-one cents, including the stock and treasury notes 
which may yet be issued under the act of January 28, 1847, and the sixteen 
million loan recently negotiated, under the act of March 31, 1848. 

In addition to the amount of the debt, the treaty stipulates that twelve 
millions of dollars shall be paid to Mexico, in four equal annual instalments 
of three millions each, the first of which will fall due on the 30th day of 
May, 1849. The treaty also stipulates that tbe United States shall " assume 
and pay " to our own citizens " the claims already liquidated and decided 
against the Mexican republic," and " all claims not heretofore decided against 
the Mexican government," " to an amount not exceeding three and a quarter 
millions of dollars." The " liquidated " claims of citizens of the United States 
against Mexico, as decided by the joint board of commissioners under the 
convention between the United States and Mexico of the nth of April, 1839, 
amounted to two millions and twenty-six thousand one hundred and thirty- 
nine dollars and sixty-eight cents. This sum was payable in twenty equal 
annual instalments. Three of them have been paid to the claimants by the 
Mexican government, and two by the United States — leaving to be paid of 



118 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

the principal of the liquidated amount assumed by the United States the sum 
of one million five hundred and nineteen thousand six hundred and four 
dollars and seventy-six cents, together with the interest thereon. These 
several amounts of " liquidated " and unliquidated claims assumed by the 
United States, it is believed, may be paid as they fall due, out of the accruing 
revenue, without the issue of stock or the creation of any additional public 
debt. 

I cannot too strongly recommend to Congress the importance of husband- 
ing all our national resources, of limiting the public expenditures to neces- 
sary objects, and of applying all the surplus at any time in the treasury to 
the redemption of the debt. I recommend that authority be vested in the 
Executive by law to anticipate the period of reimbursement of such portion 
of the debt as may not be now redeemable, and to purchase it at par, or at 
the premium which it may command in the market, in all cases in which that 
authority has not already been granted. A premium has been obtained by 
the government on much the larger portion of the loans; and if, when the 
government becomes a purchaser of its own stock, it shall command a 
premium in the market, it will be sound policy to pay it, rather than to pay 
the semi-annual interest upon it. The interest upon the debt, if the out- 
standing treasury notes shall be funded, from the end of the last fiscal year 
until it shall fall due and be redeemable, will be very nearly equal to the 
principal, which must itself be ultimately paid. 

Without changing or modifying the present tariff of duties, so great 
has been the increase of our commerce under its benign operation, that the 
revenue derived from that source, and from the sales of the public lands, 
will, it is confidently believed, enable the government to discharge annually 
several millions of the debt, and at the same time possess the means of 
meeting necessary appropriations for all other proper objects. Unless Con- 
gress shall authorize largely increased expenditures, for objects not of 
absolute necessity, the whole public debt existing before the Mexican war, 
and that created during its continuance, may be paid off without any increase 
of taxation on the people long before it falls due. 

Upon the restoration of peace, we should adopt a policy suited to a state 
of peace. In doing this, the earliest practicable payment of the public debt 
should be a cardinal principle of action. Profiting by the experience of the 
past, we should avoid the errors into which the country was betrayed shortly 
after the close of the war with Great Britain in 1815. In a few years after 
that period, a broad and latitudinous construction of the powers of the 
federal government unfortunately received but too much countenance. 
Though the country was burdened with a heavy public debt, large and in 
some instances unnecessary and extravagant expenditures were authorized 
by Congress. The consequence was, that the payment of the debt was post- 
poned for more than twenty years ; and even then it was only accomplished 
by the stern will and unbending policy of President Jackson, who made its 
payment a leading measure of his administration. He resisted the attempts 
which were made to divert the public money from that great object, and 
apply it in wasteful and extravagant expenditures for other objects ; some 
of them of more than doubtful constitutional authority and expediency. 

If the government of the United States shall observe a proper economy 
in its expenditures, and be confined in its action to the conduct of our foreign 
relations, and to the few general objects of its care enumerated in the Con- 



1848] TO MR. MARTIN 119 

stitution, leaving all municipal and local legislation to the States, our great- 
ness as a nation, in moral and physical power, and in wealth and resources, 
cannot be calculated. 

By pursuing this policy, oppressive measures operating unequally and 
unjustly upon sections and classes will be avoided, and the people, having 
no cause of complaint, will pursue their own interests, under the blessings 
of equal laws and the protection of a just and paternal government. By 
abstaining from the exercise of all powers not clearly conferred, the current 
of our glorious Union, now numbering thirty States, will be strengthened 
as we grow in age and increase in population, and our future destiny will 
be without a parallel or example in the history of nations. 

James K. Polk. 
Washington, July 6, 1848. 



TO MR. MARTIN.^ 

(No. 4.) Department of State, 

Washington, 7th July, 1848. 
Jacob L. Martin, Esqre., 

&c., &c., Rome. 
Sir: 

I have had the honor to receive your despatch. No. i, dated 
at Paris on the ist May. It is presumed that you have already 
reached Rome, and entered upon the duties of your new and inter- 
esting mission. 

I transmit, herewith, an extract of a despatch, dated at 
Canton, on the 20th of March, from the Revd. Peter Parker, then 
in charge of the U. S. Legation in China; which, with the accom- 
panying correspondence, (copy of which is also sent,) will 
acquaint you with the circumstances to which they relate, con- 
nected with the release of two Italian Bishops and a Spanish 
Missionary, who had been arrested by the Chinese Government, 
in the Province of Hoo-Pih, and conveyed as prisoners to the 
City of Canton. 

These documents are communicated for your own informa- 
tion, and to enable you, if you should deem this proper, to make 
the facts known to the Papal Government. The conduct of Mr. 
Parker, on the occasion, evinces an enlightened humanity, and has 
received the cordial approbation of the President. 

I am, Sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



^MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Papal States, I. 7. 



120 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO MR. SAUNDERS/ 

(No. 22.) Department of State, 

Washington, 7th July, 1848. 
Sir: With reference to the instruction to you of the 17th 
ultimo, No. 21,1 will thank you to substitute the following para- 
graph for that beginning with the words " In regard to the public 
lands of Cuba." 

In regard to the quantity of public lands still remaining in 
Cuba, the Department does not possess accurate information. 
From all that we have learned, it is believed that the Crown of 
Spain has already granted by far the greater portion of the whole 
territory of the Island to individuals. We need not, therefore, 
calculate upon deriving much revenue from this source. 

I am, Sir, very respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 
Romulus M. Saunders, Esqre. 



TO MR. WALKER. 



Department of State, 

Washington, 7th July, 1848. 
Hon. R. J. Walker, 

Secretary of the Treasury. 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter 
of the 3d inst., requesting a copy of the communication ad- 
dressed by you to Major General W. O. Butler, authorizing him 
to draw on the Treasury Department for the three millions of 
dollars appropriated by the act of the 3d March, 1847; and, also, 
requesting to be informed if ofificial intelligence has been received 
at this Department of the exchange of the ratifications of the 
Treaty of Peace with Mexico. 

A transcript of your letter to Gen. Butler, under date the 
23d February last, is accordingly herewith communicated. I 
have received official intelligence that the ratifications of the 
Treaty of Peace with the Mexican Republic were exchanged in 
the city of Queretaro on the 30th of May last. 

I have the honor, &c., James Buchanan. 



^ MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Spain, XIV. 279; H. Ex. Doc. 
121, 32 Cong. I Sess. 49. 

"MSS. Department of State, 36 Domestic Letters, 455. 



1848] TO MISS LANE 121 

TO MR. WESTCOTT/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, July 7, 1848. 
Hon. J. D. Westcott, 
Senate Chamber. 
Sir: 

I have to acknowledge the receipt of Mr. R. D. Fontane's 
letter of the 30th of May last, addressed to yourself, requesting a 
passport for Mr. Thomas Ugarte, of Havana, the son of Mr. 
Antoine Ugarte, who claims to be a citizen of the U. S. by virtue 
of the Florida treaty of 226. February, 18 19. 

Upon a consideration of the facts stated in this letter, it does 
not appear that Mr. Thomas Ugarte is a citizen of the United 
States; and, therefore, he cannot receive a passport. 

Regretting that I cannot comply with Mr. Fontane's request, 
I remain, Sir, &c., 

James Buchanan. 



TO MISS LANE.^ 

Washington, 8 July, 1848. 
My dear Harriet/ 

I suppose you will now within a week or ten days return to 
the exhibition ; & we shall all be happy to see you. If you should 
not have good company all the way through, I could meet you in 
Baltimore without inconvenience almost any evening leaving here 
in the cars at 5 o'clock p.m. You would arrive in Baltimore, 
probably a little before my arrival ; but whoever might accompany 
you to Baltimore could take you to Barnum's until my arrival. 
If you should adopt this course, inform me certainly of the day 
you will leave Lancaster, so that there may be no mistake. 

We have no news here which would interest you. 'Eyery- 
thing has been quiet since you left. The Pleasontons & others 
often inquire of your health. 



' MSS. Department of State, 36 Domestic Letters, 458. 

^ Buchanan Papers, private collection ; Curtis's Buchanan, I. 540. 



122 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

T am glad to learn that Mary has turned out to be " a grand 
housekeeper," You could not have given me any more agreeable 
information. If she had proved to be idle & extravagant in 
youth, the promise of her age would have been poverty & depend- 
ence. There is no spectacle more agreeable to me than that of 
a young married woman properly sensible of the important duties 
of her station & acting upon those high principles which add 
lustre to the female character. Give her my kindest love; with 
my best respect to Mr. Baker. 

Remember me affectionately to James ^ & the family, & 
believe me to be yours as ever, 

James Buchanan. 
Miss Lane. 



TO MR. GRINNELL/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, nth July, 1848. 
Hon. Joseph Grinnell, 

of the Com. on Commerce, H. of R. 
Sir: 

I have had the honor to receive your note of yesterday, 
together with the Memorial of Henry Leef and the accompany- 
ing document. 

You request my views '' as to the liability of the Government 
to pay citizens for the illegal acts of its officers : " and I am very 
clearly of opinion that no such legal liability exists. If an officer 
of the Government, acting against law and without instructions, 
does an injury to an individual, the latter must look to the per- 
sonal responsibility of the wrong doer for redress. The Govern- 
ment, in such a case, would be no more bound by the acts of its 
officer, than a principal would be by the acts of an Attorney 
who had exceeded his authority. If the rule were otherwise, it 
would be in the power of officers to embarrass the Treasury ; and 
in many instances, a strong temptation might be presented to 
them to act in this manner. 



^ James Buchanan Henry, Mr. Buchanan's nephew. 
''MSS. Department of State, Report Book, VI. 268. 



1848] TO THE PRESIDENT 123 

Such is undoubtedly the general rule, but very strong and 
peculiar cases may present exceptions. It is, however, for the 
legislative branch of the Government to decide in its discretion 
v^hether under all the circumstances the case of Henry Leef be 
of this character. I am Sir &c. 

James Buchanan. 

P. S. The memorial and statement which accompanied your 
statement are herewith returned. 



TO THE PRESIDENT.^ 

[July 17, 1848.] 
To THE President of the United States. 

The Secretary of State, to whom was referred the Resolu- 
tion of the House of Representatives of the loth Inst, requesting 
the President to communicate to that House " the best and most 
reliable information in his possession relating to the proper limits 
and boundaries of New Mexico and California, with the popula- 
tion of each, respectively, and particularly copies of the maps 
referred to in the late Treaty between Mexico and the United 
States," has the honor to lay before the President a copy of 
Distumell's map of the United Mexican States published at New 
York in 1847. This is the only map referred to in the treaty 
between the United States and Mexico, and was the one used in 
negotiating that Treaty, as will appear from the certificate of the 
Commissioners, a copy of which is appended hereto. This map 
contains the latest information in the possession of the Depart- 
ment relating to " the proper limits and boundaries " of New 
Mexico & the Californias. It may here be observed, however, 
that on this map that part of New Mexico on this side of the Rio 
Grande is embraced within the limits of what is denominated 
Santa Fe. 

The only separate map of New Mexico of which I am aware 
is that contained in the Atlas to Thompson's edition of the 



^MSS. Department of State, Report Book, VI. 269; H. Ex. Doc. 70, 
30 Cong. I Sess. 7-8. In the manuscript record book, into which this report 
was copied, no date is given ; but this imperfection is removed by the printed 
document, in which the date is given. See message of President Polk, July 
24, 1848, infra. 



124 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

Geographical and Historical Dictionary of America and the West 
Indies by Col. Don Antonio de Alcedo, published at London in 
1812, a work of the highest authority. The Department has a 
copy of this work and the accompanying Atlas, with the excep- 
tion of the Map of New Mexico, which was taken from it by your 
direction for Mr. Slidell's use and transmitted to him with his 
instructions. This map it is presumed is now with the Archives 
of the United States Legation at the city of Mexico. There is 
also a copy of Thompson's Alcedo belonging to the Library of 
Congress, but I am informed that it is without the Atlas. 

M. Dufflot de Morfras, in his work entitled '' Exploration du 
territoire de I'Qregon, des Californies &c," published at Paris in 
1844, in speaking of the Geography of Upper California, states 
that *' this magnificent province extends from the 32d to the 42d 
degree of North latitude; it is bounded on the North by the 
Oregon territory, on the South by Ancient (or Lower) Cali- 
fornia, on the East by the Rocky Mountains, and on the West by 
the Pacific Ocean." 

It is believed that no census of the population of New Mexico 
and the Calif ornias has ever been taken, and but little accurate 
information on this subject has been published. 

According to Gregg's Commerce of the Prairies, published 
at New York in 1844, the entire population of New Mexico, 
including the Pueblo Indians, does not exceed seventy thousand 
souls. 

According to the estimate of John Parrott, Esquire, our late 
Consul at Mazatlan, a gentleman whose opportunities were favor- 
able for obtaining information, the population of Upper Cali- 
fornia was estimated, in 1845, ^t 15,000 Whites, 4,000 domesti- 
cated Indians, and 20,000 other Indians, making an aggregate 
of 39,000 souls. The population of Lower California, in 1845, 
consisted of 2,000 whites, 2,000 domesticated Indians, and 7,000 
other Indians, making an aggregate of 11,000 souls. 

Thomas O. Larkin, Esq., our late Consul at Monterey, agrees 
with Mr. Parrott in estimating the White population of Upper 
California in 1845 ^^ iS^ooo souls. In regard to the number of 
Indians he has made no report. 

In compliance wn'th a request to Colonel Fremont, he has 
furnished me with an estimate of the White and Indian popula- 
tion of the Californias; and from his well known ability and 
superior means of information, this is entitled to the highest con- 
sideration. He observes, that, " in that portion of the territory 



1848] TO MR. VAUX 125 

popularly known as Upper California, being the occupied part 
lying between the Sierra Nevada and the Coast, the entire popula- 
tion, all castes included, may be fairly estimated at 50,000 for the 
close of the year 1847." Of this there were of Spanish Whites 
and mixed bloods about 12,000, and of Americans, English, 
French, &c., 4,000, making an aggregate of 16,000 souls. The 
Indians within these limits he estimates at 34,000, of which 4,000 
are domesticated. 

In Upper California east of the Sierra Nevada, Colonel 
Fremont states that the only white inhabitants are a settlement 
of Mormons on the Great Salt Lake, amounting to about 3,000. 
He cannot furnish an estimate with any approach to certainty 
of the number of wandering and unsettled Indians in that exten- 
sive region. 

Colonel Fremont estimates the population of Lower Cali- 
fornia at 2,000 of White and mixed bloods, 2,000 of domesticated 
Indians, and 6,000 of wild Indians, making an aggregate of 
10,000 souls. 

All which is respectfully submitted, 

James Buchanan. 
Department of State, Washington, July 17, 1848. 



TO MR. VAUX ET AL.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 17th July, 1848. 
Richard Vaux & Robert Tyler, Esquires. 

Gentlemen : I have received your note and the accom- 
panying package for Mr. Martin. With every disposition to serve 
you, and with the warmest admiration for the character of the 
illustrious Pope, I regret to say that, without violating a rule of 
the Department, I cannot transmit the proceedings of the meeting 
held in January last, in Philadelphia, to Rome, to be presented 
to the Pope by our Charge d'Affaires. You will perceive at once 
that if the proceedings of public meetings of our fellow citizens 
be transmitted by the Department to our Diplomatic agents to 

^MSS. Department of State, 36 Domestic Letters, 462. Robert Tyler 
was a son of President Tyler by his first wife, and a warm personal and 
political friend of Mr. Buchanan. 



126 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

be presented to foreign Governments in one case, this must be 
done in all; and the practice might subject our Government to 
serious inconvenience, if not injury. 

I am happy, however, to inform you that I have promised 
to give the Courier's passport for the steamer from Boston of the 
26th July to the Rev. Mr. O'Donnell, of St. Augustine's church, 
Philadelphia, who will go directly to Rome; and this will afford 
you an excellent opportunity of transmitting the proceedings to 
the Pope. 

Yours very respectfully, 

James Buchanan.^ 



TO MR. DODGE.^ 



(Unofficial.) Washington, i8th July, 1848. 

Hon. Henry Dodge, 

&c., &c. 
My dear Sir : 

I have received your note of the 13th inst., together with the 
letters of Judge Irwin and Mr. Catlin. Although it does not 
pertain to my official duty to decide the question which they have 
propounded, yet it affords me pleasure, in compliance with your 
verbal request, to give you my opinion on the subject. 

The question is whether the laws of the territory of Wis- 
consin still remain in force in that portion of it now beyond the 
limits of the state of Wisconsin. I am very clearly of opinion 
that these laws are still in force over the territory not embraced 
within the limits of the State. It cannot be supposed that Con- 
gress, by admitting the state of Wisconsin into the Union, in- 
tended to deprive the citizens of the U. S. beyond its limits of the 
protection of existing laws; and there is nothing in their legis- 
lation from which any such inference can be drawn. 



* S. Ex. Doc. 20, 31 Cong. 2 Sess. 7, contains a letter from Mr. George W. 
Sanders to Mr. Buchanan, dated Washington, July 17, 1848, relating to an 
offer by the Hudson's Bay Company to sell to the United States certain 
possessions. Mr. Sanders' letter begins as follows : " In reply to the inquiries 
contained in your communication of present date, I beg leave respectfully 
to state," but the following note appears on the same page : " The communi- 
cation from Mr. Buchanan here referred to is not to be found in the 
department." 

"^ MSS. Department of State, 36 Domestic Letters, 466. 



1848] TO M. BOURBOULON 127 

The difficult question is, what officers still remain to carry 
these laws into execution? It is clear to my mind that all the 
local officers residing in counties without the state line, such as 
Judges of Probate, Sheriffs, Justices of the Peace, and Constables, 
may exercise their appropriate functions as heretofore. Whether 
the general officers, such as Governor, Secretary, and Judges, 
appointed for the whole of the former territory, are authorized to 
perform their duties within what remains of it, presents a question 
of greater difficulty, on which I express no opinion. Whatever 
may be the correct decision of this question, immediate legisla- 
tion is required — because it is very certain that Congress will 
never consent to maintain the machinery provided for the govern- 
ment of the entire territory merely for the purpose of governing 
the twenty-five hundred or three thousand inhabitants who reside 
beyond the limits of the state. 

Yours very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 



TO M. BOURBOULON.^ 

Department of State, 

. _ Washington, igth July, 1848. 

Mr. A. BouRBOULON, 

&c., &c., &c. 

Sir: 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of 

the nth instant, enclosing a copy of a decree passed by the 

National Assembly of France, in reply to the Joint Resolution of 

Congress, of the 13th April last, congratulating the French People 

on the success of their late Revolution; and am, Sir, with high 

consideration, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



^MSS. Department of State, Notes to French Legation, VI. 119. 



128 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO MR. MANGUM/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 19th July, 1848. 
Hon. Willie P. Mangum^ 

Senate Chamber. 

Sir: 

In compliance with the request contained in your note of 
this day, I hasten to transmit to you a copy of a letter addressed 
by me, on the 2d March last, to the Hon. J. J. McKay, then Chair- 
man of the Committee of Ways and Means of the House of 
Representatives on the subject of the '' Amistad case." The 
decided opinion which I expressed in that letter, in favor of the 
claim, has undergone no change ; and I am firmly convinced that 
good policy requires its immediate adjustment. 

The President, in his annual message to Congress of Decem- 
ber last, has recommended, in the strongest terms, that " an 
appropriation be made, to be paid to the Spanish Government for 
the purpose of distribution among the claimants in the Amistad 
case." 

I also refer you, for information on this subject, to a Report 
No. 753, (June 24, 1846,) made by the Committee on Foreign 
Affairs of the House of Representatives. 
Yours respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. BIDLACK.^ 

(No. 20.) Department of State, 

Washington, 20th July, 1848. 
To B. A. BiDLACK, Esquire, 

&c. &c. &c. 
Sir : 

The Treaty between the United States and New Granada 
signed by yourself on the part of your own government having 
been duly ratified and proclaimed by the President, I transmit 
copies thereof. Permit me to congratulate you upon the asso- 



* MSS. Department of State, 36 Domestic Letters, 465. 
''MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Colombia, XV. 117. 



1848] TO MR. HUTTER 129 

elation of your name with this instrument. It has been most 
favorably received by the pubHc, and, I doubt not, will be of great 
and lasting advantage to both countries. 

Your despatches to No. 54 inclusive have been received. 
The whole amount paid to Corcoran and Riggs, on the draft to 
which you refer in your No. 52, was nine hundred and fifty-four 
dollars and thirty-one cents. 

I am. Sir, very respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. HUTTER.^ 

Private. 

Washington, 22 July 1848. 
My dear Sir/ 

I hasten to answer yours of the 20th August. Among the 
prominent candidates for Governor, I should scarcely know how 
to choose between Plumer, Black, & Bigler, were the question left 
to my decision. If the Democracy of Lancaster County prefer 
any one of these three I should be entirely satisfied, though I 
could never interfere in his favor as against either of the other 
two. 

As the editor of an able & independent Democratic Journal 
you ought, on this important occasion, to pursue the course which 
you deem best calculated to secure the nomination of the most 
worthy candidate & the triumph of the good old cause. Act 
upon your own judgment, & provided this be done with the 
energy & effort necessary to success, I shall be the last man to 
censure your conduct. 



^ Buchanan Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Edwin Wilson 
Hutter, after editing various newspapers in Pennsylvania, took up his abode 
in Lancaster, and was private secretary to Mr. Buchanan when the latter 
was Secretary of State. He afterwards became a clergyman, and was for 
some years the pastor of St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran church in 
Philadelphia. He was a firm adherent of the government of the United 
States during the Civil War. (Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biog- 
raphy, III. 335.) 

Vol. VIII— 9 



130 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

I never see the Lancasterian, nor do I care to see it. 
With my kindest regards for Mrs. Hutter, I remain 
Very respectfully your friend 

James Buchanan. 
E. W. HuTTER, Esquire. 



TO MR. DONELSON.^ 

(No. 1 6.) Department of State^ 

Washington, 24th July, 1848. 

A. J. DONELSON, ESQRE., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

I must write you briefly, as this is the last hour for the 
Steamer of the 26th instant. 

Your despatch No. 91, of the 30th ultimo, has been received; 
and, also, a despatch of the 3rd instant from Mr. Graebe. 

The latter furnishes a copy, in translation, of the Act of the 
German Parliament at Frankfort, creating a Provisional Execu- 
tive Department for all the German States ; and informs us that 
the Arch-Duke John, of Austria, has been elected Administrator 
of the Empire. 

Under these circumstances, the President authorises you to 
proceed to Frankfort, and there, as the Diplomatic Representa- 
tive of the United States, recognise the Provisional Government 
of the new German Confederation ; provided you shall find such 
a Government in successful operation. 

The President has observed, with the deepest interest, the 
efforts of the German States and People to establish an efficient 
Federal Government for all Germany; and he will hail with un- 
alloyed pleasure the accomplishment of this great event. The 
sympathies of the American people have ever been warmly en- 
listed in all that can contribute to the welfare and power of Ger- 
many. Our best wishes attend the progress of the Germans to 
the final establishment of a Confederacy, which shall secure the 
liberty and prosperity of the people, without unnecessarily abridg- 
ing the powers of the Sovereign States, of which it is composed. 



^MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Prussia, XIV. 124. 



1848] TO THE PRESIDENT 131 

It is under such a system that we have preserved public order, 
maintained private rights, and enjoyed unexampled liberty and 
prosperity. I wish I had time to expatiate on this interesting 
subject. 

When at Frankfort, you will use your best efforts to promote 
our commercial interests, and to effect a reduction of duty upon 
the importation of our important agricultural and manufacturing 
productions. 

Yours, very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 



TO THE PRESIDENT.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 24th July, 1848. 
The Secretary of State, to whom has been referred the 
Resolution of the Senate dated on the 24th of April, requesting 
the President to furnish to that Body " any correspondence in 
the Department of State with the American Charge d' Affaires 
in Portugal in relation to the claim of the owners of the Ship 
Miles, of Warren, in the State of Rhode Island, upon the Govern- 
ment of Portugal, for payment of a cargo of oil taken by the 
officers and applied to the uses of that Government. Also copies 
of any correspondence between our Charge and the Minister of 
the Portuguese Government relating to the claim for and the 
payment of said cargo, together with such papers as are in the 
Department, substantiating the claim " — has the honor to lay be- 
fore the President copies of all the papers on file in the Depart- 
ment of State which are called for by the Resolution. 
Respectfully submitted, 

James Buchanan. 
To the President of the United States. 



^MSS. Department of State, Report Book, VI. 270. This report was 
transmitted by the President to the Senate, July 31, 1848, and was printed, 
with the accompanying papers, in S. Ex. Doc. 64, 30 Cong, i Sess. 



132 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

MESSAGE OF PRESIDENT POLK 

ON NEW MEXICO AND CALIFORNIA.^ 

[July 24, 1848.] 
To THE House of Representatives of the United States : 

In answer to the resolutions of the House of Representatives of the 
loth instant, requesting information in relation to New Mexico and Cali- 
fornia, I communicate herewith reports from the Secretary of State,'' the 
Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of War, and the Secretary of the 
Navy, with the documents which accompany the same. These reports and 
documents contain information upon the several points of inquiry embraced 
by the resolutions. " The proper limits and boundaries of New Mexico and 
California" are delineated on the map referred to in the late treaty with 
Mexico, an authentic copy of which is herewith transmitted; and all the 
additional information upon that subject, and, also, the most reliable infor- 
mation in respect to the population of these respective Provinces which is 
in the possession of the Executive will be found in the accompanying report 
of the Secretary of State. 

The resolutions request information in regard to the existence of civil 
governments in New Mexico and California ; their " form and character ; " 
by " whom instituted ; " by " what authority ; " and how they are " main- 
tained and supported." 

In my message of December 22, 1846, in answer to a resolution of the 
House of Representatives calling for information " in relation to the estab- 
lishment or organization of civil government in any portion of the territory 
of Mexico which has been or might be taken possession of by the Army 
or Navy of the United States," I communicated the orders which had been 
given to the officers of our Army and Navy, and stated the general authority 
upon which temporary military governments had been established over the 
conquered portion of Mexico then in our military occupation. 

The temporary governments authorized were instituted by virtue of the 
rights of war. The power to declare war against a foreign country, and to 
prosecute it according to the general laws of war, as sanctioned by civilized 
nations, it will not be questioned, exists under our Constitution. When 
Congress has declared that war exists with a foreign nation, " the general 
laws of war apply to our situation ; " and it becomes the duty of the Presi- 
dent, as the constitutional " Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy 
of the United States," to prosecute it. 

In prosecuting a foreign war thus duly declared by Congress, we have 
the right, by " conquest and military occupation," to acquire possession of 
the territories of the enemy, and, during the war, to " exercise the fullest 
rights of sovereignty over it." The sovereignty of the enemy is in such case 
" suspended," and his laws can " no longer be rightfully enforced " over the 
conquered territory, " or be obligatory upon the inhabitants who remain 
and submit to the conqueror. By the surrender the inhabitants pass under 
a temporary allegiance " to the conqueror, and are " bound by such laws, and 
such only, as " he may choose to recognize and impose. " From the nature 



^H. Ex. Doc. 70, 30 Cong, i Sess. 
'See report, July 17, 1848, supra. 



1848] MESSAGE OF THE PRESIDENT 133 

of the case, no other laws could be obligatory upon them ; for where there 
is no protection, or allegiance, or sovereignty, there can be no claim to 
obedience," These are well-established principles of the laws of war, as 
recognized and practised by civilized nations; and they have been sanctioned 
by the highest judicial tribunal of our own country. 

The orders and instructions issued to the officers of our Army and 
Navy, applicable to such portions of the Mexican territory as had been or 
might be conquered by our arms, were in strict conformity to these prin- 
ciples. They were, indeed, ameliorations of the rigors of war, upon which 
we might have insisted. They substituted for the harshness of military 
rule something of the mildness of civil government, and were not only the 
exercise of no excess of power, but were a relaxation in favor of the peace- 
able inhabitants of the conquered territory who had submitted to our author- 
ity, and were alike politic and humane. 

It is from the same source of authority that we derive the unquestioned 
right, after the war has been declared by Congress, to blockade the ports 
and coasts of the enemy, to capture his towns, cities, and provinces, and 
to levy contributions upon him for the support of our Army. Of the same 
character with these is the right to subject to our temporary military govern- 
ment the conquered territories of our enemy. They are all belligerent rights, 
and their exercise is as essential to the successful prosecution of a foreign 
war as the right to fight battles. 

New Mexico and Upper California were among the territories con- 
quered and occupied by our forces, and such temporary governments were 
established over them. They were established by the officers of our Army 
and Navy in command, in pursuance of the orders and instructions accom- 
panying my message to the House of Representatives of December 22, 1846. 
In their form and detail, as at first established, they exceeded, in some 
respects, as was stated in that message, the authority which had been given; 
and instructions for the correction of the error were issued in despatches 
from the War and Navy Departments of the nth of January, 1847, copies 
of which are herewith transmitted. They have been maintained and sup- 
ported out of the military exactions and contributions levied upon the 
enemy, and no part of the expense has been paid out of the Treasury of the 
United States. 

In the routine of duty some of the officers of the Army and Navy who 
first established temporary governments in California and New Mexico have 
been succeeded in command by other officers, upon whom like duties de- 
volved; and the agents employed or designated by them to conduct the 
temporary governments have also, in some instances, been superseded by 
others. Such appointments for temporary civil duty, during our military 
occupation, were made by the officers in command in the conquered terri- 
tories, respectively. 

On the conclusion and exchange of ratifications of a treaty of peace with 
Mexico, which was proclaimed on the 4th instant, these temporary govern- 
ments necessarily ceased to exist. In the instruction to establish a temporary 
government over New Mexico, no distinction was made between that and 
the other Provinces of Mexico which might be conquered and held in our 
military occupation. 



134 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

The Province of New Mexico, according to its ancient boundaries as 
claimed by Mexico, lies on both sides of the Rio Grande. That part of it on 
the east of that river was in dispute when the war between the United States 
and Mexico commenced. Texas, by a successful revolution in April, 1836, 
achieved, and subsequently maintained, her independence. By an act of the 
Congress of Texas, passed in December, 1836, her western boundary was 
declared to be the Rio Grande, from its mouth to its source, and thence due 
north to the forty-second degree of north latitude. Though the Republic 
of Texas, by many acts of sovereignty which she asserted and exercised, 
some of which were stated in my annual message of December, 1846, had 
established her clear title to the country west of the Nueces, and bordering 
upon that part of the Rio Grande which lies below the Province of New 
Mexico, she had never conquered, or reduced to actual possession, and 
brought under her government and laws, that part of New Mexico lying east 
of the Rio Grande, which she claimed to be within her limits. On the 
breaking out of the war we found Mexico in possession of this disputed 
territory. As our Army approached Santa Fe (the capital of New Mexico) 
it was found to be held by a governor under Mexican authority, with an 
armed force collected to resist our advance. The inhabitants were Mexicans, 
acknowledging allegiance to Mexico. The boundary in dispute was the 
line between the two countries engaged in actual war, and the settlement of 
it of necessity depended on a treaty of peace. Finding the Mexican authori- 
ties and people in possession, our forces conquered them, and extended 
military rule over them and the territory which they actually occupied, in 
lieu of the sovereignty which was displaced. It was not possible to disturb 
or change the practical boundary line, in the midst of the war, when no 
negotiation for its adjustment could be opened, and when Texas was not 
present, by her constituted authorities, to establish and maintain government 
over a hostile Mexican population who acknowledged no allegiance to her. 
There was, therefore, no alternative left but to establish and maintain mili- 
tary rule during the war over the conquered people in the disputed territory, 
who had submitted to our arms, or to forbear the exercise of our belligerent 
rights, and leave them in a state of anarchy and without control. 

Whether the country in dispute rightfully belonged to Mexico or to 
Texas, it was our right in the first case, and our duty as well as our right 
in the latter, to conquer and hold it. Whilst this territory was in our pos- 
session as conquerors, with a population hostile to the United States, which 
more than once broke out in open insurrection, it was our unquestionable 
duty to continue our military occupation of it until the conclusion of the 
war, and to establish over it a military government, necessary for our own 
security as well as for the protection of the conquered people. 

By the joint resolution of Congress of March i, 1845, "for annexing 
Texas to the United States," the "adjustment of all questions of boundary 
which may arise with other governments " was reserved to this Government. 
When the conquest of New Mexico was consummated by our arms, the 
question of boundary remained still unadjusted. Until the exchange of the 
ratifications of the late treaty, New Mexico never became an undisputed 
portion of the United States, and it would therefore have been premature 
to deliver over to Texas that portion of it, on the east side of the Rio 
Grande, to which she asserted a claim. However just the right of Texas 



1848] MESSAGE OF THE PRESIDENT 135 

may have been to it, that right had never been reduced into her possession, 
and it was contested by Mexico. 

By the cession of the whole of New Mexico, on both sides of the Rio 
Grande, to the United States, the question of undisputed boundary, so far as 
Mexico is concerned, has been settled ; leaving the question as to the true 
limits of Texas, in New Mexico, to be adjusted between that State and the 
United States. 

Under the circumstances existing during the pendency of the war, and 
while the whole of New Mexico, as claimed by our enemy, was in our mili- 
tary occupation, I was not unmindful of the right of Texas to that portion 
of it which she claimed to be within her limits. In answer to a letter 
from the governor of Texas, dated on the 4th of January, 1847, the Secretary 
of State, by my direction, informed him, in a letter of the 12th of February, 
1847,^ that in the President's annual message of December, 1846, " You have 
already perceived that New Mexico is at present in the temporary occupation 
of the troops of the United States, and the government over it is military 
in its character. It is merely such a government as must exist under the 
laws of nations and of war, to preserve order and protect the rights of the 
inhabitants, and will cease on the conclusion of a treaty of peace with 
Mexico. Nothing, therefore, can be more certain than that this temporary 
government, resulting from necessity, can never injuriously affect the right 
which the President believes to be justly asserted by Texas to the whole 
territory on this side of the Rio Grande, whenever the Mexican claim to it 
shall have been extinguished by treaty. But this is a subject which more 
properly belongs to the legislative than the executive branch of the 
Government." 

The result of the whole is, that Texas had asserted a right to that part 
of New Mexico east of the Rio Grande which is believed, under the acts of 
Congress for the annexation and admission of Texas into the Union as a 
State, and under the Constitution and laws of Texas, to be well founded ; but 
this right had never been reduced to her actual possession and occupancy. 
The General Government, possessing exclusively the war-making power, had 
the right to take military possession of this disputed territory, and until the 
title to it was perfected by a treaty of peace, it was their duty to hold it, 
and to establish a temporary military government over it, for the preserva- 
tion of the conquest itself, the safety of our Army, and the security of the 
conquered inhabitants. 

The resolutions further request information whether any persons have 
been tried and condemned for " treason against the United States in that 
part of New Mexico lying east of the Rio Grande, since the same has been 
in the occupancy of our Army," and if so, before " what tribunal," and " by 
what authority of law such tribunal was established." It appears that after 
the territory in question was " in the occupancy of our Army," some of the 
conquered Mexican inhabitants, who had at first submitted to our authority, 
broke out in open insurrection, murdering our soldiers and citizens, and 
committing other atrocious crimes. Some of the principal offenders who were 
apprehended were tried and condemned by a tribunal invested with civil and 
criminal jurisdiction, which had been established in the conquered country 



See letter of Mr. Buchanan to Governor Henderson, Feb. 12, 1847, supra. 



136 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

by the military officer in command. That the offenders deserved the punish- 
ment inflicted upon them, there is no reason to doubt; and the error in the 
proceedings against them consisted in designating and describing their crimes 
as " treason against the United States." This error was pointed out, and its 
recurrence thereby prevented, by the Secretary of War in a despatch to the 
officer in command in New Mexico, dated on the 26th of June, 1847, a copy 
of which, together with copies of all communications relating to the subject 
which have been received at the War Department, is herewith transmitted. 

The resolutions call for information in relation to the quantity of the 
public lands acquired within the ceded territory, and " how much of the 
same is within the boundaries of Texas as defined by the act of the Congress 
of the Republic of Texas of the 19th day of December, 1836." No means 
of making an accurate estimate on the subject is in the possession of the 
executive department. The information which is possessed will be found 
in the accompanying report of the Secretary of the Treasury. 

The country ceded to the United States lying west of the Rio Grande, 
and to which Texas has no title, is estimated by the commissioner of the 
General Land Office to contain 526,078 square miles, or 336,689,920 acres. 

The period since the exchange of ratifications of the treaty has been 
too short to enable the Government to have access to or to procure abstracts 
or copies of the land titles issued by Spain or by the Republic of Mexico. 
Steps will be taken to procure this information at the earliest practicable 
period. It is estimated, as appears from the accompanying report of the 
Secretary of the Treasury, that much the larger portion of the land within 
the territories ceded remains vacant and unappropriated, and will be subject 
to be disposed of by the United States. Indeed, a very inconsiderable por- 
tion of the land embraced in the cession, it is believed, has been disposed 
of or granted either by Spain or Mexico. 

What amount of money the United States may be able to realize from 
the sales of these vacant lands must be uncertain ; but it is confidently believed 
that, with prudent management, after making liberal grants to emigrants 
and settlers, it will exceed the cost of the war and all the expenses to 
which we have been subjected in acquiring it. 

The resolutions also call for " the evidence, or any part thereof, that the 
' extensive and valuable territories ceded by Mexico to the United States 
constitute indemnity for the past.' " 

The immense value of the ceded country does not consist alone in the 
amount of money for which the public lands may be sold. If not a dollar 
could be realized from the sale of these lands, the cession of the jurisdiction 
over the country, and the fact that it has become a part of our Union, and 
can not be made subject to any European power, constitute ample " indemnity 
for the past " in the immense value and advantages which its acquisition 
must give to the commercial, navigating, manufacturing, and agricultural 
interests of our country. 

The value of the public lands embraced within the limits of the ceded 
territory, great as that value may be, is far less important to the people of 
the United States than the sovereignty over the country. Most of our States 
contain no public lands owned by the United States, and yet the sovereignty 
and jurisdiction over them is of incalculable importance to the nation. In 
the State of New York the United States is the owner of no public lands. 



1848] TO MR. CARVALLO 137 

and yet two-thirds of our whole revenue is collected at the great port of 
that State, and within her limits is found about one-seventh of our entire 
population. Although none of the future cities on our coast of California 
may ever rival the city of New York in wealth, population, and business, 
yet that important cities will grow up on the magnificent harbors of that 
coast, with a rapidly increasing commerce and population, and yielding a 
large revenue, would seem to be certain. By the possession of the safe 
and capacious harbors on the Californian coast, we shall have great advan- 
tages in securing the rich commerce of the East, and shall thus obtain 
for our products new and increased markets, and greatly enlarge our coasting 
and foreign trade, as well as augment our tonnage and revenue. 

These great advantages, far more than the simple value of the public 
lands in the ceded territory, " constitute our indemnity for the past." 

James K. Polk. 
Washington, July 24, 1848. 



TO MR. CARVALLO.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, July 25, 1848. 
Sir : In a note under date the 27th of April, last, I had the 
honor to inform you that the President had directed the papers 
relating to the pending claim on the Chilean Government in the 
case of the Macedonian to be referred to Ransom H. Gillett, Esq., 
the Solicitor of the Treasury, for his report. This he has accord- 
ingly rendered to this Department, and a copy of it is herewith 
communicated. The testimony on both sides appears to have 
been maturely and impartially weighed by Mr. Gillett. The 
conclusion at which he arrives is that sixty-nine thousand six 
hundred dollars of the value of the silver seized in the valley of 
Sitana belonged to citizens of the United States. In this opinion 
the President entirely concurs, and consequently hopes that the 
Chilean Government will at once make provision for the payment 
of the principal sum with interest from the date of the seizure. 
If, as is presumed to be the case, you are authorized to enter 
into stipulations upon the subject, I shall be happy to receive 
your proposals at an early day. With a view, however, to re- 
move all cause of misunderstanding between our two govern- 
ments, which have so many motives for cherishing mutual good 
will, it is desirable that the few other claims of citizens of the 
United States on the government of Chile should be included in 



^MSS. Department of State, Notes to Chilean Legation, VI. 8; S. Ex. 
Doc. 58, 35 Cong. I Sess. ^^S- For the arbitration of this case, see Moore, 
International Arbitrations, II. 1449 et seq. 



138 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

the arrangement. I should therefore be gratified to learn that 
your powers also extend to them. 

I avail myself of this occasion, sir, to offer to you renewed 
assurances of my very high consideration. 

James Buchanan. 
Senor Don Manuel Carvallo, &c., &c., &c. 



TO MR. CAMPBELL.^ 

Dept. of State, 

26 July, 1848. 
Robert B. Campbell Esqr. 

U. S. Consul, Havana. 
Sir: 

Your letters dated 18 May and 17th & i8th of this month 
have been received. I have to thank you for much valuable 
' information which they contain. 

In reply to the several enquiries made by you under date the 
1 8th inst., I have to state, — 

1. A native of the Island of Cuba, who has been naturalized 
in the U. S., retains his rights as an American citizen, upon his 
return to that Island, at least until he has manifested, by un- 
equivocal acts, his intention to become again a Spanish subject. 

2. It is very clear that a foreigner, who has merely declared 
his intention to become an American citizen, without having 
carried that intention into effect, is not an American citizen. 

3. Without deciding the question whether an American citi- 
zen, by taking out a letter of domiciliation in Cuba, has forfeited 
his right of citizenship, I think that whilst he remains in the 
Island enjoying the privileges which such a letter confers, this 
Government is not under any obligation to protect him as an 
American citizen. This would seem to be clear, because, in order 
to obtain such letter, he must have promised under oath fidelity 
to her Catholic Majesty, and to the laws, " renouncing all privi- 
lege, right, and protection that he might claim as a foreigner, 
promising not to maintain any dependence, relation, or subjection 
to the country of his birth," &c. &c. 

I am. Sir, respectfully. 

Your obt. Servant, 

James Buchanan. 



^ MSS. Department of State, Despatches to Consuls, X. 473. 



1848] TO MR. CAMPBELL 139 

P. S. A Duplicate of an important despatch, addressed to 
you under date the 9th of June, is enclosed herewith. It was 
transmitted by me to Mr. Wood, at New York, to be forwarded 
to you b}^ the earliest opportunity. Under date 10 June, he 
acknowledged receipt of it, and stated, that it had been placed 
in the letter bag of the Steamer *' Guadalquivir," to sail for Ha- 
vana on the 12 following. As you make no reference to it, I 
am apprehensive it may not have been received. If so, I will 
thank you to use all diligence to ascertain its fate, and obtain 
possession of it. 

TO MR. CAMPBELL.^ 

Dept. of State, 27 July 1848. 
R. B. Campbell Esq. 

U. S. Consul, Havana. 
Sir, 

Your letter of the 7th inst. referring to the instructions 
of this Dept. in the case of John Lytle, " a free citizen of the 
U. S.." sold into bondage in the Island of Cuba, & announcing 
that through your interposition he had been restored to freedom, 
& sent by you to New York, has been received. Of his safe 
arrival at that place I have since been informed. By your faith- 
ful exertions, to accomplish so laudable an object, you have 
entitled yourself to the thanks of every friend of humanity; to 
which I, with pleasure, add the acknowledgments of the Govt, 
for the fidelity with which you have executed your instructions, 
& vindicated its character. I am happy in the reflection that 
the circumstances to which you refer, & which you seem to think 
would have justified the very extreme measures you contemplated, 
in case this individual was not given up, did not occur; and in 
reply to your enquiry on that subject, I have to state, that such 
a proceeding, on your part, could not have been approved by the 
President, because it would have been the exercise of the war 
making power, which belongs exclusively to Congress. 

In regard to the account stated by you with John Lytle, 
I am not able to perceive any objection to it; and as he appears 
to have entrusted the management of his affairs to discreet & 
intelligent friends, I have no motive to interfere with it. 

I am Sir &c. 

James Buchanan. 



MSS. Department of State, Despatches to Consuls, X. 475. 



140 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO THE CHEVALIER MARTUSCELLI.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 27th July, 1848. 
The Chevalier Martuscelli, 
&c., &c., New York City. 
Sir: 

I have had the honor to receive your notes, from the City 
of New York, of the 31st May last and the 22nd Instant, both 
of which have been brought to the notice of the President. 

Whilst the President has observed with deep interest the 
progress of events in Italy, yet, acting in accordance with the 
long established policy of the United States, this Government 
has carefully abstained from taking any part in the intestine 
struggles which now agitate that country. Our policy in regard 
to all foreign nations is peace, friendship, and neutrality, leaving 
to each to choose that form of Government which it may deem 
best adapted to promote the happiness and prosperity of its people. 
The President, I need not say, desires to preserve the most 
amicable relations with the Government of His Majesty, the King 
of The Two Sicilies. 

In answer to the inquiry contained in your note of the 22nd 
Instant, I have the honor to inform you that this Government 
has not recognized the Independence of Sicily, nor has it yet 
taken the subject into consideration. 

I avail myself of this occasion to offer to you the assurances 
of my distinguished consideration. 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. BANCROFT.^ 

(No. 33.) Department of State, 

Washington, 28th July, 1848. 
George Bancroft, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

The President has watched, with much solicitude, the prog- 
ress of the bill in the House of Commons to repeal the British 
navigation laws. At this late day, and after the subject has 



MSS. Department of State, Notes to Italian States Legation, VI. 106. 
MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Great Britain, XV. 361. 



1848] TO MR. MASON 141 

been exhausted by the most powerful intellects of the age, any 
attempt on my part to prove their injustice and impolicy would 
be a w^ork of supererogation. It is my confident belief, however, 
that the removal of the restrictions upon trade which these 
laws impose would essentially promote the welfare both of Great 
Britain and the United States. Commerce and navigation, re- 
lieved from the fetters which have so long restrained them, 
would bound forward with invigorated energy. Mutual benefits 
and blessings would thus be conferred upon the people of both 
countries, and the peace and friendship now so happily subsisting 
between the kindred nations would be rendered perpetual. 

The President has instructed me to express his cordial appro- 
bation of your past efforts to secure the repeal of these laws, and 
his desire that you shall continue to use all honorable means, 
consistent with your position as a foreign Minister, to accomplish 
this most desirable object. 

I am. Sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. MASON.^ 



Department of State, 

Washington, 28th July, 1848. 
Hon. John Y. Mason, 

Secretary of the Navy. 
Sir: 

For your information I have the honor to transmit, herewith, 
extracts from despatches from N. Niles, Esq., Charge d' Affaires 
of the U. S. in Sardinia, dated respectively the i6th ult., and 
the 2d inst., on the subject of the privilege granted by the Sar- 
dinian Government, of a naval depot at Spezzia, for the use of 
our public vessels in the Mediterranean. 

I am, &c., 

James Buchanan. 



^MSS. Department of State, 36 Domestic Letters, 470. 



142 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO MR. RAY ET AL/ 

Dept. of State, 

28 July, 1848. 
Messrs. Charles B. Ray, Wm. P. Powell, Charles L. 
Reason, Tames McC. Smith, Committee, &c., &c., &c. 

I have received your note of the 22d inst., requesting copies 
of the correspondence in this Dept. in relation to the case of 
John Lytle, who has been rescued from the condition of slavery 
in which he was unjustly held in the Island of Cuba, through the 
agency of our Consul at the Havana. It has been unusual to 
publish instructions to our foreign Agents ; and I can see no good 
reason why an exception to the general rule should be made on 
the present occasion. 

I have to return you my acknowledgments for the expression 
of your gratitude " for the ready & energetic action of the Dept. 
on this interesting occasion." Your kindness overrates my 
desert. Had I acted otherwise than I have done, I should have 
justly exposed myself to severe censure. When informed by a 
benevolent friend that a free individual of my own country, no 
matter of what colour, was held in bondage in a foreign land, 
the first dictate of duty as well as humanity was, to adopt the 
means necessary for his rescue. This I did with hearty good 
will; and I rejoice that the efficient efforts of our Consul, sus- 
tained as they were by the praiseworthy conduct of the Captain 
General of Cuba, were crowned with success. 

I am respectfully 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



MESSAGE OF PRESIDENT POLK 

ON A treaty with PRUSSIA. 2 

[July 28, 1848.] 
To THE Senate of the United States : 

I have received from the Senate the " convention for the mutual delivery 
of criminals, fugitives from justice, in certain cases, concluded on the 29th 
of January, 1845, between the United States, on the one part, and Prussia 
and other States of the German Confederation, on the other part," with a 
copy of their resolution of the 21st of June last, advising and consenting 



MSS. Department of State, Despatches to Consuls, X. 476. 
Senate Executive Journal, VII. 462-464. 



1848] MESSAGE OF THE PRESIDENT 143 

to its ratification, with an amendment extending the period for the exchange 
of ratifications until the 28th of September, 1848. 

I have taken this subject into serious and deliberate consideration, and 
regret that I can not ratify this convention, in conformity with the advice of 
the Senate, without violating my convictions of duty. Having arrived at this 
conclusion, I deem it proper and respectful, considering the peculiar circum- 
stances of the present case, and the intimate relations which the Constitu- 
tion has established between the President and Senate, to make known to 
you the reasons which influence me to come to this determination. 

On the T6th of December, 1845, I communicated this convention to the 
Senate for its consideration, at the same time stating my objections to the 
third article. I deemed this to be a more proper and respectful course 
toward the Senate, as well as toward Prussia and the other parties to it, 
than if I had withheld it and disapproved it altogether. Had the Senate 
concurred with me in opinion and rejected the third article, then the con- 
vention thus amended would have conformed to our treaties of extradition 
with Great Britain and France. 

But the Senate did not act upon it within the period limited for the 
exchange of ratifications. From this I concluded that they had concurred 
with me in opinion in regard to the third article, and had, for this and other 
reasons, deemed it proper to take no proceedings upon the convention. After 
this date, therefore, I considered the affair as terminated. 

Upon the presumption that this was the fact, new negotiations upon the 
subject were commenced, and several conferences were held between the 
Secretary of State and the Prussian minister. These resulted in a protocol 
signed at the Department of State on the 27th of April, 1847, in which the 
Secretary proposed either that the two Governments might agree to extend 
the time for the exchange of ratifications and thus revive the convention, 
provided the Prussian Government would previously intimate its consent 
to the omission of the third article, or he " expressed his willingness imme- 
diately to conclude with Mr. Gerolt a new convention, if he possessed the 
requisite powers from his Government, embracing all the provisions contained 
in that of the 29th January, 1845, with the exception of the third article. 
To this Mr. Gerolt observed that he had no powers to conclude such a 
convention, but would submit the propositions of Mr. Buchanan to the 
Prussian Government for further instructions." 

Mr. Gerolt has never yet communicated in writing to the Department 
of State the answer of his Government to these propositions ; but the Secre- 
tary of State, a few months after the date of the protocol, learned from 
him, in conversation, that they insisted upon the third article of the conven- 
tion as a sine qua non. Thus the second negotiation had finally terminated 
by a disagreement between the parties, when, more than a year afterwards, 
on the 21 St June, 1848, the Senate took the original convention into consider- 
ation and ratified it, retaining the third article. 

After the second negotiation with the Prussian Government, in which 
the objections to the third article were stated, as they had been previously 
in my message of the i6th December, 1845, a strong additional difficulty was 
interposed to the ratification of the convention; but I might overcome this 
difficulty if my objections to the third article had not grown stronger by 
further reflection. For a statement of them in detail I refer you to the 



144 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

accompanying memorandum, prepared by the Secretary of State by my 
direction.^ 

I can not believe that the sovereign States of this Union, whose adminis- 
tration of justice would be almost exclusively affected by such a convention, 
will ever be satisfied with a treaty of extradition under which if a German 
subject should commit murder or any other high crime in New York or New 
Orleans, and could succeed in escaping to his own country, he would thereby 
be protected from trial and punishment under the jurisdiction of our State 
laws which he had violated. It is true, as has been stated, that the German 
States, acting upon a principle springing from the doctrine of perpetual 
allegiance, still assert the jurisdiction of trying and punishing their subjects 
for crimes committed in the United States or any other portion of the world. 
It must, however, be manifest that individuals throughout our extended 
country would rarely, if ever, follow criminals to Germany, with the neces- 
sary testimony, for the purpose of prosecuting them to conviction before 
German courts for crimes committed in the United States. 

On the other hand, the Constitution and laws of the United States, as 
well as of the several States, would render it impossible that crimes com- 
mitted by our citizens in Germany could be tried and punished in any 
portion of this Union. 

But if no other reason existed for withholding my ratification from 
this treaty, the great change which has recently occurred in the organization 
of the Government of the German States would be sufficient. By the last 
advices we learn that the German Parliament, at Frankfort, have already 
established a federal provisional Executive for all the States of Germany, 
and have elected the Archduke John of Austria to be " Administrator of the 
Empire." One of the attributes of this Executive is " to represent the 
Confederation in its relations with foreign nations, and to appoint diplomatic 
agents, ministers, and consuls.'* Indeed, our minister at Berlin has already 
suggested the propriety of his transfer to Frankfort. In case this conven- 
tion with nineteen of the thirty-nine German States should be ratified, this 
could amount to nothing more than a proposition on the part of the Senate 
and President to these nineteen States who were originally parties to the 
convention to negotiate anew on the subject of extradition. In the mean- 
time a central German Government has been provisionally established, which 
extinguishes the right of these separate parties to enter into negotiations 
with foreign Governments on subjects of general interest to the whole. 

Admitting such a treaty as that which has been ratified by the Senate 
to be desirable, the obvious course would now be to negotiate with the 
General Government of Germany. A treaty concluded with it would embrace 
all the thirty-nine States of Germany, and its authority being coextensive 
with the Empire, fugitives from justice found in any of these States would 
be surrendered up on the requisition of our minister at Frankfort. This 
would be more convenient and effectual than to address such separate requisi- 
tions to each of the nineteen German States with which the convention was 
concluded. 



*The substance of the memorandum is embodied in this message. See, 
also, the message of Dec. i6, 1845, supra. 



1848] TO MR. HOPKINS 145 

I communicate herewith, for the information of the Senate, copies of a 
despatch from our minister at Berlin, and a communication from our consul 
at Darmstadt. 

James K. Polk. 
Washington, July 28, 1848. 



MESSAGE OF PRESIDENT POLK 

ON THE INSTRUCTIONS TO MESSRS. SEVIER AND CLIFFORD. ^ 

[July 28, 1848.] 
To THE House of Representatives of the United States : 

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 
17th instant, requesting the President "to communicate (if not inconsistent 
with the public interests) copies of all instructions given to the Hon. Am- 
brose H. Sevier and Nathan Clifford, commissioners appointed to conduct 
negotiations for the ratification of the treaty lately concluded between the 
United States and the Republic of Mexico," I have to state that, in my opin- 
ion, it would be " inconsistent with the public interests " to give publicity 
to these instructions at the present time. 

I avail myself of this occasion to observe that, as a general rule, applicable 
to all our important negotiations with foreign powers, it could not fail to be 
prejudicial to the public interest to publish the instructions to our ministers 
until some time had elapsed after the conclusion of such negotiations. 

In the present case the object of the mission of our commissioners to 
Mexico has been accomplished. The treaty, as amended by the Senate of 
the United States, has been ratified. The ratifications have been exchanged, 
and the treaty has been proclaimed as the supreme law of the land. No 
contingency occurred which made it either necessary or proper for our 
commissioners to enter upon any negotiations with the Mexican Government 
further than to urge upon that Government the ratification of the treaty in 
its amended form. 

James K. Polk. 
Washington, July 28, 1848. 



TO MR. HOPKINS/ 

(No. 6.) Department of State, 

Washington, 29th July, 1848. 
George W. Hopkins, Esqre., 

&c., &c., Lisbon. 
Sir: 

On the day my last despatch to you, of the 27th ultimo, was 
mailed, I received information from the Secretary of the Navy, 



^ H. Ex. Doc. 75, 30 Cong, i Sess. 

'MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Portugal, XIV. 104. 
Vol. VIII— 10 



146 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

to whom I had referred your despatch No. 7, of the 29th of May, 
to the effect that orders had been given to the Commander of our 
Squadron in the Mediterranean to take an early occasion to direct 
one of the ships under his command to touch at the port of 
Lisbon. 

Your despatch No. 8, of the 29th ultimo, was received here 
on the 24th instant. 

By a Resolution of the Senate, dated the 24th April, the 
correspondence and papers in the case of the claim of the owners 
of the Ship '* Miles " have been called for. The answer to this 
call is now ready, and will be communicated with the documents 
in a few days. Among the papers proposed to be sent on the 
occasion, was a letter (with enclosures,) from Mr. H. G. O. 
Colby to the Department, dated 20th July, 1843 5 ^ copy of which 
was transmitted to Mr. Rencher, in a despatch of the i8th Oc- 
tober, of that year, numbered 2. The original of Mr. Colby's 
letter, and its enclosures, not being found on file in the Depart- 
ment, are presumed to have been withdrawn, or transmitted to 
your Legation; in which latter event you will be good enough 
to return them hither, to be placed on file, and used, if occasion 
should require, retaining the copies in the Legation. A knowl- 
edge of the fact of the Senate's call for information respecting 
this case will be useful to you in any communications you may 
have to make upon the subject to the Portuguese Minister of 
Foreign Affairs. 

I am, Sir, respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. NILES.^ 



(No. 4.) Department of State, 

Washington, 29th July, 1848. 
Nathaniel Niles, Esqr., 

&c., &c., Turin. 
Sir: 

I wrote to you on the 28th ultimo, and I have to acknowl- 
edge the receipt since then of your despatches, Nos. 3, 4, and 5. 
Extracts have been made from the two last, and communicated 
to the Secretar}^ of the Navy, on the subject of the permission 



'MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Italy, I. 55. 



1848] TO MR. SAUNDERS 147 

granted by Sardinia to establish a Naval Depot at Spezzia, for 
the use of our public ships. 

I had the pleasure yesterday to receive Mr. Mossi in the 
character of Charge d' Affaires of Sardinia. 
I am, Sir, respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. SAUNDERS.^ 

(No. 21 [23].) Department of State, 

Washington, 29th July, 1848. 
Romulus M. Saunders, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

I have had the honor to receive your despatch of the 12th 
ultimo, numbered 34, and that of the 27th ultimo, numbered 35. 

I received, by the same mail v^hich brought the latter, a letter 
from Mr. Sawyer, dated the 6th instant, announcing his arrival 
in London, and his determination to proceed immediately to 
Madrid. It is supposed that, before this reaches you, he will 
have entered upon the duties of Secretary of Legation. 

In regard to the Cemetery at Barcelona, the President is of 
opinion that he cannot lawfully apply the fund for the " contin- 
gent expenses of foreign intercourse " towards its improvement. 
The object, however, is laudable; and should the other Govern- 
ments mentioned have furnished to their Consuls the allotted 
amounts, there is no doubt that Congress, at its next Session, 
would enable me to transmit to our Consul the 1000 francs appor- 
tioned to this Government. It may be necessary to obtain a 
general authority from Congress upon the subject; and I should 
be glad to learn at how many places in Spain it might become 
necessary to ask our aid in improving Cemeteries for American 
Citizens. 

I am. Sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Spain, XIV. 254 



148 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO THE PRESIDENT/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 31st July, 1848. 
To THE President of the United States. 

The Secretary of State, to whom has been referred the Reso- 
lution of the Senate of the 28th Inst., requesting the President to 
communicate to that Body, " in confidence, if not inconsistent 
with the public interest, what steps, if any, have been taken by 
the Executive to extinguish the rights of the Hudson Bay and 
Puget Sound Land Company, within the Territory of Oregon, 
and such communications, if any, which may have been received 
from the British Government in relation to this subject," — has 
the honor to report to the President the accompanying copies 
of papers, in answer to the resolution above cited. 
Respectfully submitted, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. WALKER.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 31st July, 1848. 
Hon. R. J. Walker, 

Secretary of the Treasury. 
Sir: 

I have the honor to communicate, for the purpose of being 
placed on file in the Treasury Department, a copy of despatch 
No. 15, under date the 2d inst., addressed to this Department by 
Mr. Clifford, U. S. Commissioner in Mexico, relative to the pay- 
ment to the Mexican Government of the three millions of dollars 
pursuant to the provisions of the Act of Congress approved 3d 
March, 1847, entitled "An act making further appropriation 
to bring the existing war with Mexico to a speedy and honorable 
conclusion." The original papers which accompanied the des- 
patch are also herewith communicated. 

I have the honor, &c., 

James Buchanan. 



^MSS. Department of State, Report Book, VI. 271. This report was 
communicated by President Polk to the Senate, July 31, 1848. (Senate 
Executive Journal, VII. 466.) 

"MSS. Department of State, 36 Domestic Letters, 471. 



1848] TO MISS LANE 149 

TO MR. BUTLER/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 2d August, 1848. 
Benjamin F. Butler, Esq., 

Attorney of U. S. for Southern District 
of New York— N. Y. City. 
Sir: 

I have heard nothing for some time of the case of Metz- 
ger. Will you be good enough to inform me when it will prob- 
ably be decided by the Supreme Court of New York ? I am very 
anxious to have it finally determined by the Supreme Court of 
the U. S. at an early period of their next session, in case the 
decision of your Supreme Court should affirm that of Judge 
Edmonds. 

Mr. Poussin, the French Minister, has arrived in this city, 
and from the great interest felt by his Government in the question, 
I have no doubt he will embrace an early opportunity to ascertain 
what is its present condition. 

Yours very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MISS LANE.^ 

Washington 2 August, 1848. 
My dear Harriet/ 

I have this moment received your letter of the 30th ultimo 
& hasten to give it an answer. I regret very much that you are 
not pleased w^ith Rockaway. You went there for the benefit of 
your health, under the advice of physicians, & I should be very 
sorry you should leave it without giving sea bathing a fair trial. 

It is entirely out of the question for me to accompany you 
on a tour to West Point, Niagara, Boston, &c. If I should be 
able to leave Washington at all, I cannot go to any place from 
which I could not immediately return in case of necessity. I re- 
quire rest & quiet. Besides, under existing circumstances which 
I need not explain, I could not visit the States of New York & 
Massachusetts, unless it might be to pass through them quietly 



^MSS. Department of State, 36 Domestic Letters, 473. 
" Buchanan Papers, private collection. Printed, with some inaccuracies, 
in Curtis's Buchanan, I. 541. 



150 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

& rapidly. It is possible, if the weather should be suitable, 
towards the close of August that I may go to Saratoga for a few 
days ; but my movements are altogether uncertain. 

I am much gratified that you have acquitted yourself so 
liandsomely, as to obtain medals & premiums; & under other cir- 
cumstances, I should cheerfully accompany you on your travels. 
It is possible that I may take you to West Point. 

Miss Hetty is gradually but slowly recovering. Please to 
remember me very kindly to Mrs. Bache, Mrs. Walker, & the 
ladies, and believe me to be 

Yours affectionately, 

James Buchanan. 
Miss Harriet Lane. 



TO MR. DONELSON.^ 

(No. 17.) Department of State, 

Washington, 3rd August, 1848. 

A. J. DONELSON, EsQRE., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

I transmit you, herewith, two printed copies of the Presi- 
dent's message and my memorandum on the subject of the Con- 
vention of Extradition with Prussia and the other German States. 
These documents will sufficiently explain themselves. 

The Convention was most unexpectedly taken up, and, in 
the hurry of business, suddenly acted upon by the Senate ; and no 
doubt is entertained that the views presented by the President in 
his message will receive the approbation of the members of that 
Body. 

The President desires that you shall make the necessary 
explanations to the Prussian Government, and assure them, in 
the strongest terms, of his continued desire to cultivate the most 
friendly relations with Prussia. He felt constrained to with- 
hold his ratification from the Convention, because it introduced 
a new principle into our Treaties of Extradition, to which 
he could not, under an imperative sense of duty, give his 
approbation. 

I ought to observe that the President, in his message, has 



'MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Prussia, XIV. 126. 



V'" '* 

1848] X^C^^Lir^p TO THE SENATE 151 

committed a mistake in stating, that " Mr. Gerolt has never yet 
communicated in writing to the Department of State the answer 
of his Government to these propositions," &c. This mistake 
originated in the Department of State. The fact is, that Baron 
Gerolt did, in a note of the 20th May, 1847, communicate to this 
Department that the Prussian, and other German Governments, 
could not abandon the Third Article of the Convention. This 
mistake, as soon as it was discovered, was made known to the 
Chairman of the Committee of Foreign Relations of the Senate. 

I think you may calculate, with much confidence, that, in the 
course of the next week, you will be appointed Envoy Extra- 
ordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Germanic Confed- 
eration. It is not intended, by this appointment, to annul your 
present Commission. On the contrary, you will remain Envoy 
Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Prussia, until it 
shall be ascertained that the Prussian Government has been 
definitively deprived of the power to enter into negotiations with 
Powers beyond the limits of Germany. This course is due to 
the sincere respect which the President entertains for the Prus- 
sian Government, and his desire to act towards it in the most 
kind and deferential manner. 

I am. Sir, respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO THE SENATE.^ 

[August 3, 1848.] 
To THE Senate of the United States. 

The Secretary of State has the honor to transmit to the 
Senate, in compliance with a Resolution adopted by it on the 
29th ultimo, " a copy of the Joint Report of the Commissioners 
under the Treaty of Washington, of August 9, 1842, together 
with a copy of the report of the American Commissioner trans- 
mitting the same to the State Department." 

James Buchanan. 
Department of State, 
Washington, 3rd August, 1848. 



^MSS. Department of State, Report Book, VI. 272; S. Ex. Doc. 71, 
30 Cong. I Sess. i. 



152 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO A. LINCOLN ET AL/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 5th August, 1848. 
Messrs. A. Lincoln and James H. Thomas, 

House of Representatives. 
Gentlemen : 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter 
of yesterday, requesting copies, in English, of the Conventiotis 
entered into by Santa Anna with Texas, and referred to in 
his letter to President Jackson which is published in Senate 
document No. 84, 2d Session, 24th Congress. In reply, I have 
the honor to inform you that it is not in the power of this 
Department to comply with your request. The Clerk who had 
charge of the business at the time states that Santa Anna's letter 
to President Jackson was never on file in the Department except 
for the purpose of being translated; that it was returned to the 
President when the translation was completed, and that he has 
no recollection of having seen the copies of the treaties referred 
to in the letter. 

I have the honor, &c., 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. DONELSON.^ 

(No. 18.) Department of State, 

Washington, 7th August, 1848. 

A. J. DONELSON, ESQRE., 

&c., &c., &c., Berhn. 
Sir: 

The President has this day nominated you to the Senate as 
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Fed- 
eral Government of Germany; and no doubt is entertained that 
your nomination will be confirmed before the termination of the 
Session. This will end on the 14th instant. 

In making this nomination, the President does not intend that 
you shall remove vour residence from Berlin to Frankfort. Dur- 
ing the transition state of Germany from separate and indepen- 
dent Sovereig^nties to a Federal Union, the Prussian Mission will 



^MSS. Department of State, 36 Domestic Letters, 474. 
*MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Prussia, XIV. 127. 



1848] TO MR. DONELSON 153 

remain upon its present footing; and there is no intention to 
withdraw it, unless the power of Prussia to negotiate with 
foreign Governments shall be abolished by the definitive Con- 
stitution of German}^ This determination, on the part of the 
President, is due to the respect which he entertains for the Prus- 
sian Government, and his sincere desire to perpetuate the friendly 
relations which have been maintained between Prussia and the 
United States ever since the termination of our Revolutionary 
War. Before you leave Berlin for Frankfort, where the public 
interest now demands your presence, you will take care to present 
the views of the President on this subject to the Prussian Minis- 
ter for Foreign Affairs. After the final establishment of the 
Germanic Constitution, should it still be necessary to preserve 
diplomatic relations with Prussia, the President will then decide 
whether you shall remain in your present position, or be per- 
manently transferred to Frankfort. In the mean time your 
necessary personal expenses, of w^hich you will keep an account, 
in travelling to and from Frankfort, and whilst you shall find 
it necessary to remain there, will be paid out of the fund to 
defray the contingent expenses of foreign intercourse. 

I shall send your Commission to Frankfort; presuming 
that when it shall arrive you will be in that city. With it, I shall 
transmit you instructions. In the mean time, it is important that 
you should watch carefully the progress of the Bill to establish a 
uniform Tariff for Germany, and use your best endeavors to have 
their transit duties abolished, and the duties on our important 
articles of export fixed at a reasonable rate. For this purpose, 
you can avail yourself of the information and services of Messrs. 
Mann and Graebe, which I have no doubt they will cheerfully 
render, should they be in Frankfort. We already owe much 
to the great ability and persevering vigilance of the former, 
whilst w^e are indebted to the latter for a regular and faithful 
account of the proceedings of the German Parliament, wath 
observations evincing strong practical good sense. His despatch 
of the loth July was communicated to the Senate with your 
nomination; and I desire that you should make this fact known 
to him. 

Should you have reached Frankfort upon the arrival of this 
Despatch, you will immediately address a note to the Prussian 
Minister for Foreign Affairs, embodying the views of the Presi- 
dent in reference to your continuance as Minister to Prussia. 

As you will represent your country both at Berlin and 



154 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

Frankfort, it would be highly acceptable to the President if the 
two Governments established in these cities should be repre- 
sented by Baron Gerolt at Washington. 

My tw^o last despatches to you were dated on the 24th ultimo 
and 3rd instant. I have now to acknowledge the receipt of your 
despatches Nos. 92 and 93, of the 5th and 8th ultimo. 
I am, Sir, respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. CLIFFORD.^ 

(No. 2.) Department of State, 

Washington, 7th August, 1848. 
To N. Clifford, Esquire, 

&c. &c. &c. 
Sir: 

The despatches from your Legation to No. 19, inclusive, 
have been received. 

The President, by and wath the advice and consent of the 
Senate, has appointed you Envoy Extraordinary and Minister 
Plenipotentiary to the Mexican Republic. I herewith transmit 
your Commission with a sealed letter of credence to the Presi- 
dent of that Republic and an open copy of the same. You will 
communicate the copy to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, with a 
note requesting him to inform you when you may present the 
original to the President in person. After you shall have been 
received by the Mexican Government under your new commis- 
sion, the President is willing that you shall visit the United States 
in compliance with the request contained in your number 16. 
The time of your departure from Mexico is left to your own 
discretion, in view of the important interests entrusted to your 
charge. You will present Mr. Walsh to the Minister for Foreign 
Affairs as Charge d' Affaires ad interim. 

The President knows that you will absent yourself from 
your post no longer than may be consistent with your duty, to 
make " suitable provision for the permanent comfort and happi- 
ness of your family." There has been, as you are aware, no 
period in the history of our relations with Mexico when it was 



^MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Mexico, XVI. 100. 



1848] TO MR. CLIFFORD 155 

more important than at the present moment to have our country 
ably represented at the capital of that Republic. The irritation 
of feeling arising out of the late and to the Mexicans disastrous 
war ought to be soothed; the machinations of foreign govern- 
ments injurious to the United States ought to be counteracted, 
and the Mexican Government ought to be persuaded to abandon 
their absurd and unreasonable tariff. These are important ob- 
jects of your mission, requiring your personal attention. If 
you can succeed in accomplishing them, you v^ill acquire and 
deserve the gratitude of your country. 

In the present distracted state of Mexico, the Department 
will expect to learn regularly the progress of events from your 
Legation, and you will enjoin the performance of this duty on 
Mr. Walsh during your absence. 

Your despatch No. 14, of the 27th June, was not received 
from Sefior Arrangoiz until the 3d instant. On the same day 
he called at the Department, presented his credentials, and in- 
formed me of the object of his mission. He said it was the desire 
of the Mexican Government that the United States should furnish 
to Mexico three or four thousand troops, to be employed, in the 
first place, against the Indians of Yucatan, and, if need be, against^ 
the Indians of other portions of Mexico. In case of necessity, 
they would, also, be employed to sustain the present govern- 
ment against the revolutionists. He proposes that they should 
receive from Mexico the same pay and rations as troops of the 
United States, and in all other respects should be placed on the 
same footing, and is willing that the next instalment of three 
millions under the Treaty due on the 30th May, 1849, should be 
applied to this purpose. 

His verbal propositions have been submitted to the President 
in Cabinet Council, and after full consideration they were decided 
to be impracticable. Such an arrangement, in order to bind 
Mexico, must assume the form of a Treaty and be submitted to 
the Senate; and it is very certain that two-thirds of that body 
would not at present advise and consent to its ratification. But 
even if their concurrence were probable, there is not now time 
before the close of the session, (Monday the 14th instant) to have 
the question discussed and decided by that body. 

The President himself, as you are aware, does not possess 
the power to employ the army beyond the limits of the United 
States, in aid of a foreign country, without the sanction of the 
Treaty-making or war-making powder; and it is morally certain 



156 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

that neither the one nor the other could be obtained under 
existing circumstances. 

Besides, to employ the army in this manner would be con- 
trary to our established policy not to interfere in the domestic 
concerns of foreign nations, and this ought not to be violated 
unless under extraordinary circumstances. 

Even if all other difficulties could be overcome, Congress 
would have to raise additional troops for the purpose. The 
present army of the United States, since the discharge of the 
ten regiments and the volunteers, is barely sufficient for the 
necessary service at home. 

I have this morning had a conversation with Seiior Arran- 
goiz, and communicated to him these views of the President on 
the subject of his mission. He appeared to be satisfied that it 
was impossible to accomplish the object during the present ses- 
sion of Congress ; but he expressed a hope that something might 
be done at the next session in case the situation of Mexico should 
\ then require our aid. 

The President and the people of the United States sincerely 
desire to maintain the most amicable relations with Mexico. 
They cordially wish that the present government may be able 
to sustain itself against its enemies, and they deprecate the success 
of Paredes. This would again commence the unfortunate career 
of revolution which Mexico has so long pursued with such disas- 
trous consequences, and I fear w^ould end in dismemberment and 
total anarchy. The pacific and eminently patriotic character of 
President Herrera affords a sure pledge for the prosperity of 
Mexico, should he be able to retain his power, and all our feelings 
are enlisted in his favor. It is therefore with painful reluctance 
that the President feels himself constrained to decline his request, 
\at least for the present. You are instructed to explain in the 
most friendly manner the reasons of this refusal, and make them 
as acceptable as possible. It is hoped from the news received 
this morning of the defeat of Paredes and the capture and execu- 
tion of Jarauta, that Mexico may not require foreign aid. 

I am, Sir, very respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



1848] TO MR. SHIELDS 157 

TO MR. SHIELDS.^ 

(No. 26.) Department of State, 

Washington, 7th August, 1848. 
To B. G. Shields, Esquire, 

&c. &c. &c. 
Sir: 

I transmit a copy of two communications addressed to this 
Department, one by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Vene- 
zuehi, under date the 6th of May, last, and the other by Mr. 
Crampton, Her Britannick Majesty's Charge d' Affaires at Wash- 
ington, under date the 29th June. The view which I have taken 
of the first of these communications will appear from my answer 
to Mr. Acevedo's note, a transcript of which is also enclosed. 
You will perceive that I have not acknowledged either the general 
charges preferred against you, or the expunging of the passage 
in the note to which he refers, to be true in point of fact. In 
regard to the latter I certainly could have taken no other course, 
for you have yourself been silent upon the subject. It is pre- 
sumed, however, that the incident may have been correctly stated. 
If so, I regret that you should have so far placed yourself in the 
power of Mr. Acevedo as to have afforded him occasion to make 
the representation. 

The plain duty of diplomatic agents of the United States is 
scrupulously to abstain from interfering in the domestic politics 
of the countries where they reside. This duty is specially incum- 
bent on those who are accredited to governments mutable in form 
and in the persons by whom they are administered. By taking 
any open part in the domestic affairs of such a foreign country, 
they must sooner or later render themselves obnoxious to the 
Executive authority, which cannot fail to impair their usefulness. 

It is probable that Mr. Acevedo may have exaggerated the 
more general charges against you contained in his note. If, 
however, there should have been any ground for them, it would 
be a matter for just regret. There certainly can be no doubt that 
your future conduct will afford no occasion to repeat them, 
whatever may be the party or the persons in authority in 
Venezuela. 

Mr. Acevedo, it appears, has communicated to Mr. Wilson, 
the British Charge d' Affaires at Caracas, that you had informed 



* MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Venezuela, I. 72. 



158 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

him that your " Government is convinced that England was at 
the bottom of the resistance opposed by Mexico to the just de- 
mands of the United States, and that but for her intrigues there 
would have been no war between the two countries, for which 
in point of fact she is entirely responsible; that the government 
of the United States has recently obtained documentary evidence 
of the fact, and that it is determined to watch and frustrate the 
intrigues and designs of England against the independence and 
prosperity of the Spanish American States." If you communi- 
cated such information to Mr. Acevedo, it was not only highly 
impolitic, considering that his known feelings in regard to your- 
self rendered it morally certain it would be made known to Mr. 
Wilson, but it was incorrect in point of fact. This Government 
possesses no such documentary or other evidence of the alleged 
interference on the part of Great Britain. On the contrary, we 
have reason to believe, whatever may have been our conjectures 
before the comxmencement of the war with Mexico, that the Brit- 
ish Government exerted itself to bring about a Treaty of Peace. 

It is true that we shall ever watch with a jealous eye the 
movements of Great Britain as well as those of all other European 
powers on this continent. We have reason to be dissatisfied with 
her conduct on the Mosquito Coast under the pretext of being 
the protector of the King and Kingdom of the Mosquitos, and 
especially with her capture of the port of St. Juan de Nicaragua. 
We have sent a Charge d' Affaires to Guatemala who has been 
instructed to collect and communicate to the Department full 
and accurate information on this subject. When we receive his 
report, the President will determine what measures it may be 
proper to adopt for the purpose of defeating her designs. 

Under these circumstances, our true policy requires that we 
should be prudent and cautious as well as firm and decided. If 
we have complaints to make, these ought to be made to the 
British Government, and not through our diplomatic agents to 
the functionaries of other Governments having no direct interest 
in the question. 

I have no doubt that Mr. Acevedo's statements have been 
exaggerated throughout, and shall await your explanations with 
much interest. 

From anything I have said in this despatch, you will not infer 
that you are not to keep a watchful eye upon the intrigues of the 
British government in Venezuela, if any such exist, and com- 
municate full information of them to the Department. 

I am, Sir, very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



1848] TO THE VENEZUELAN MINISTER 159 

TO THE VENEZUELAN MINISTER FOR FOREIGN 

AFFAIRS/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 7th August, 1848. 
To His Excellency, The Minister for Foreign Affairs 
OF the Republic of Venezuela. 

The Undersigned, Secretary of State of the United States, 
has had the honor to receive two copies of the note addressed 
to him, under date the 6th of May, last, by His Excellency the 
Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Repubhc of Venezuela, one 
of them through General Herran, the Envoy Extraordinary and 
Minister Plenipotentiary of the Republic of New Granada, accred- 
ited to this Government, and the other through Mr. F. Corvaia. 
This note has been laid before the President, who has directed 
the Undersigned to reply to the same. Its account of recent 
events in Venezuela has been read with painful interest. The 
comparative exemption of that Republic from those convulsions 
which have done so much towards hindering the progress of other 
Spanish American States was enough to inspire hopes that her 
prosperity might not be thwarted or retarded by similar causes. 
The Undersigned will not say that the circumstances mentioned 
by the Minister for Foreign Affairs should dissipate those hopes, 
but the fact that civil war exists in a neighboring and friendly 
Republic, whatever may be its origin or purposes, will always 
be deplored by the United States, who desire that all nations 
living under free governments should be tranquil at home and at 
peace with the rest of the world. 

After concluding his narrative, the Minister for Foreign 
Affairs says it had been announced that Sefior Juan Manuel Man- 
rique, formerly Minister for Foreign Relations of Venezuela, 
had gone to the United States in quest of assistance for the 
insurgents in that Republic, and requests that this government 
would not suffer any expedition to be organized or any assistance 
to be obtained in this coimtry for the purpose of carrying on hos- 
tilities against the existing government of Venezuela. The Min- 
ister for Foreign Affairs is aware that as the government of the 
United States is founded on law, none of its authorities can do 
any act which the law does not direct or allow. There is, how- 



^MSS. Department of State, Communications to Foreign Sovereigns 
and States, III. 75. 



160 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

ever, a law of the United States which is believed to be adequate 
to the objects desired by the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The 
special attention of the Attorneys of the United States at those 
points where offences against this law^ were most likely to be 
committed has accordingly been called to its execution, as will 
appear from the Circular to those officers, a copy of which is 
enclosed. 

The Minister for Foreign Affairs closes his communication 
with a complaint against Mr. Shields, the Charge d'Affaires of 
the United States at Caracas, for indulging in partiality tow^ards 
the adversaries of the Executive of Venezuela, and specifies an 
expression in a note addressed to him by Mr. Shields as having 
been so offensive that the latter felt himself obliged to suppress it. 

This complaint has given the President much pain. In 
transacting the business of his mission, Mr. Shields had displayed 
intelligence and industry amply sufficient to justify those favor- 
able anticipations which led to his appointment. If he has taken 
any part in the local politics of Venezuela, the Minister for 
Foreign Affairs may be assured that he has not acted in conform- 
ity to instructions from this government, which can never approve 
of such a course in its diplomatic agents abroad, as it would 
not be tolerated in the representatives of other countries in the 
United States. In stating, how^ever, that Mr. Shields arrived in 
Venezuela when the Executive Power of that Republic was in 
the hands of persons by whom it is now opposed, and with whom 
he necessarily contracted friendships, the Minister for Foreign 
Affairs affords an explanation if not a justification for the bias 
on the part of that gentleman of which he complains. The Presi- 
dent, however, is confident that he has not intentionally performed 
any act which he supposed to be incompatible with his whole duty, 
in the discharge of which he has been actuated by an exemplary 
zeal, and that if through inadvertence he should have been in- 
discreet, he has no doubt his conduct for the future will be 
entirety satisfactory to the Venezuelan Government. This De- 
partment has accordingly/ addressed an instruction to him upon 
the subject. 

The Undersigned avails himself of this occasion to offer to 
His Excellency the assurance of his most distinguished 
consideration. 

James Buchanan. 



1848] FROM MR. RUSH 161 

TO MR. ABELL.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 8th August, 1848. 
RoLLiN Abell, Esq., 

Boston. 
Sir: 

I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 4th 
instant, upon the subject of the claim on the Chilean Government 
in the case of the brig Warrior. The amount allowed by that 
Government for the detention of the vessel was $15,000, payable 
with interest in seven annual instalments. These have all been 
paid. 

The indemnification was claimed by, and the first instalment 
was paid to, Thomas T. Bloodgood, of New- York, Administra- 
tor of Thomas Bloodgood, deceased, as the sole owner of the 
" Warrior." The subsequent instalments have been paid to that 
gentleman and the Revd. William Patton, upon an agreement 
between them, filed in the Department, by which the former ad- 
mitted that the latter had an equitable right to one moiety of the 
amount allowed. 

I am, Sir, very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



FROM MR. RUSH.^ 

Private. Paris August 8. 1848. 

Dear Sir, 

An incident has occurred here giving me much concern, which I must 
ask leave to explain to you in this unofficial letter, that as well the President 
as yourself may personally know what I have done in regard to it; and 
also other friends in the government whom I value. 

The newspapers some time ago apprized me that our national Demo- 
cratic convention had passed certain congratulatory Resolutions which I was 
to deliver to the National Assembly here. I had the hope that they might 
not reach me. They did, however, but never until about ten days ago, 
through Mr. Hallett of Boston, and I enclose a copy of the answer I wrote 
him. 

It will be seen that I felt compelled to decline delivering them; and 
greatly pained should I be if it could be thought that in this act I have 



^MSS. Department of State, 37 Domestic Letters, i.^ 
"Buchanan Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 
Vol. VIII— 11 



162 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

wanted a proper respect or right feeling for the party in our country of which 
I am one. But how could /, the minister of the United States, deliver these 
Resolutions, being, as they are, exclusively of a party nature — however good 
as such? 

Would the National Assembly of this great country receive in proper 
form any thing of the kind from a source less than our whole nation? 

Could the National Assembly respond to such Resolutions, which, be- 
sides coming from a body representing only one party in the United States, 
ceased to exist immediately after it had passed the Resolutions? 

When I have presented any thing proceeding from the President or 
yourself, our whole nation has spoken. I have known where I stood. 

But if I had become the channel of presenting these Resolutions, directly 
or indirectly, would not the dignity of our democratic convention have been 
compromised, supposing the National Assembly to have declined receiving 
or answering them ; or not to have answered them as might have been 
wished? Were these risks to have been run? 

I sincerely hope that our friends may not complain of my course. 
With all that I see and know here, I have the deep conviction that for me 
to have presented the Resolutions in any way, either to the National Assem- 
bly or Executive government, would have been an injudicious step all round; 
I mean as well for me, as Minister, as for our National convention. 

The recent successes of the Austrians in Italy have created much 
anxiety here. England has not yet acknowledged this Republic, though 
other states are now beginning to do so ; but Mr. De Beaumont was yester- 
day appointed minister to London (not ambassador) and will go there 
immediately — perhaps to-day or to-morrow ! So I was told at a party where 
I was last night, and where there were some prominent members of the 
Assembly. De Beaumont is a member. The present government in France 
does not at all desire war ; and the new minister, who is among that class 
of the French rather well disposed towards England, and only a Republican 
of the day after, goes over the channel thus speedily to join England in 
friendly counsels with Austria and Sardinia for peace on terms that both 
countries might accept, and thus save Europe from a general war. This is 
what I hear from a source I deem pretty good, though I have not as yet 
heard it from this government direct. 

It is now confidently expected that the new constitution will be reported 
to the Assembly next week, by the Bureaus. 

I will write you an official communication soon on the tobacco question, 
which I trust you will feel sure I have not forgotten, but on the contrary 
have had constantly in my mind. 

I pray you, my dear Sir, to believe me always very sincerely and 
respectfully 

Yours 

Richard Rush. 
Hon : James Buchanan. 



18481 TO MR. CLIFFORD 163 

TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES/ 

[August 12, 1848.] 
To THE House of Representatives of the United States: 
The Secretary of State, in answer to the Resohition of the 
House of Representatives of the 21st of December, last, which 
is in the following words : '* Resolved, That the Secretary of 
State report to this House the state of the claims of Aaron Leg- 
gett on the Government of Mexico, decided under the Convention 
of the nth April, 1839, and such action as may have been had 
and the papers relating thereto in the Department of State, since 
the report upon them of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in 
August, 1842, referring them for further consideration to the 
Executive branch of the Government " — has the honor to com- 
municate the papers mentioned in the subjoined list, which contain 
all the information on the subject of the Resolution in the pos- 
session of this Department. 

From these documents it will appear that Mr. Leggett's 
claims are in the same condition they were at the date of the 
report in relation to them to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, 
in August, 1842. 

Respectfully communicated. 

James Buchanan. 
Department of State. 
Washington, 12th August, 1848. 



TO MR. CLIFFORD.^ 

(No. 4.) Department of State, 

Washington, 15th August, 1848. 
To Nathan Clifford, Esquire, 

&c. &c. &c. 
Sir: 

In your despatch No. 18, you inquire, are articles imported 
previously or subsequently to the exchange of the ratifications 
of the Treaty, but which have been transported out of the State 



'MSS. Department of State, Report Book, VI. 273; H. Ex. Doc. 83, 
30 Cong. I Sess. i. 

- MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Mexico, XVI. 105. 



164 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

in which they were, liable to or exempt from the operation of the 
local revenue system of the country? 

The third article of the Treaty stipulates that immediately 
after its ratification by both parties, the Government of the 
United States shall despatch orders for the delivery of the Mexi- 
can Custom Houses to such persons as the Mexican Government 
may authorise to receive them. But it was foreseen that duties 
on imports might be collected in these ports by the United States 
after the ratification of the Treaty by both parties and before the 
delivery of the Custom Houses to the Mexican authorities. 
Which party was to receive the benefit of these duties? The 
third article of the Treaty very properly answers, the Mexican 
Government. It would have been unjust that they should be 
injured in consequence of the delay which it was foreseen might 
occur between the final conclusion of peace and the surrender 
of the Custom Houses. But in addition to these duties, the 
Treaty liberally surrenders to the Mexican Government "all 
bonds and evidences of debt for duties on importations and 
exportations not yet fallen due " at the time of the delivery of the 
Custom Houses to the Mexican authorities. 

In this state of the case, what would be equal and exact 
justice between the parties in regard to the disposition of the 
goods imported into Mexico previously to the surrender of the 
Custom Houses? These ought to be placed on precisely the 
same footing as though they were imported and had paid duties 
under the Mexican tariff. In accordance with this principle, 
the first clause of the nineteenth article provides that all imports 
previously to the restoration of the Custom Houses shall be 
exempt from confiscation, even " although the importation of the 
same be prohibited by the Mexican tariff." This covers the case 
of tobacco and other prohibited articles. 

But goods thus imported before the restoration of the Cus- 
tom Houses might remain at the port of importation, or they 
might have been removed to some " place in the interior whilst 
such place was in the occupation of the forces of the United 
States." The Treaty explicitly provides for both cases. 

I. The third clause of the nineteenth article declares that 
such goods as may then remain at the place of importation shall, 
during their continuance there, and upon their leaving that place 
for the interior, " be exempt from all duty, tax, or impost of every 
kind, under whatsoever title or denomination. Nor shall they be 
there subjected to any charge whatsoever upon the sale thereof." 



1848] TO MR. CLIFFORD 165 

2. In case any such goods had been removed from the port 
of importation to a place " in the occupation of the forces of the 
United States," the fourth clause of the 19th Article of the 
Treaty provides that they '' shall, during their continuance there- 
in, be exempt from all tax upon the sale or consumption thereof, 
and from every kind of impost or contribution, under whatsoever 
title or denomination." 

In all cases, however, where goods thus imported are re- 
moved from the place of importation or from the place where 
they may be found, to another place in Mexico, '' they shall, upon 
their introduction into such place, or upon their sale or consump- 
tion there, be subject to the same duties which, under the Mexican 
laws, they would be required to pay in such cases if they had 
been imported in time of peace through the maritime Custom 
Houses, and had there paid the duties conformably with the 
Mexican tariff." 

It appears to me that this plain provision of the Tteaty 
answers both your questions. Goods imported into Vera Cruz 
before the 30th May, last, and transported to the City of Mexico, 
after its evacuation by our troops, are not " exempt from the in- 
ternal revenue system of the Federal District." And the same 
rule applies, a fortiori, to goods imported into Vera Cruz after 
the 30th May, last, and before the restoration of the Custom 
Houses. 

The second clause of the nineteenth Article of the Treaty, 
and the twentieth article, provide for a contingency which has 
never occurred. They stipulate for goods imported between the 
time that might elapse from the restoration of the Custom Houses 
and the third of April, 1848, the termination of the sixty days 
after the signature of the Treaty. 

The Treaty provides, then, for three cases, i. At the place 
of importation the goods may be freely sold without tax or duty, 
and if removed thence, they are equally exempt from tax or duty 
on their removal. 

2. If they had been removed to any place in the interior, 
" whilst such place was in the occupation of the forces of the 
United States," there they may be freely sold without tax or duty. 

3. But all goods whatever which may be removed, either 
from the port of importation or from places which had been 
occupied by the forces of the United States, to other places, are 
liable to pay the same taxes and duties upon their introduction 
into these places as goods imported under the Mexican laws. 



166 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

I transmit a copy of a private letter of yesterday, addressed 
to me by John Parrott, Esquire, United States Consul for Mazat- 
lan, who is now in this City. It is understood that Mr. Parrott 
has a quantity of tobacco at Vera Cruz which was imported pre- 
viously to the restoration of the Custom House there to the Mexi- 
can authorities, and he has been informed that they object to its 
removal into the interior. I am very clearly of opinion that the 
Treaty authorises him to transport his tobacco, as is his purpose, 
to the City of Mexico. The nineteenth article embraces all mer- 
chandise imported previously to the restoration of the Custom 
Houses, " although the importation of the same be prohibited by 
the Mexican Tariff." The United States would have acted an 
unjust part towards the importers in admitting merchandise pro- 
hibited by the Mexican Tariff, and receiving duties upon it, had 
they failed to make such provisions in its favor as those contained 
in the nineteenth article of the Treaty. 

Copies of the communication of Commodore Jones and of 
the two notes of the Mexican Minister for Foreign Affairs to 
yourself, dated the 6th and loth July, last, respectively, the two 
last complaining of violations of the 3d and 4th articles of the 
Treaty, will be referred to the Secretaries of War and of the 
Navy. It is to be regretted, however, that you did not at once 
obtain the necessary information yourself from Commodore 
Jones and our Consul at Tampico, and make a satisfactory 
arrangement of these small affairs wdth the Mexican Government. 
Your reference of these notes to the Department and the inten- 
tion which you announce of not answering them until you shall 
be possessed of the views of your Government, unless you should 
change your purpose, may produce great delay. It is our wish 
to execute the Treaty in its letter and spirit, and if anything has 
been omitted by our agents at Mazatlan or at Tampico which the 
Treaty requires, this ought to be corrected. It would seem that 
the sum of forty-tw^o thousand seven hundred and twenty-one 
dollars, eighty-seven and a half cents, which Commodore Jones 
■vvas ready to pay over, was a large amount of duties collected at 
Mazatlan for so short a period as that which intervened from 
the 30th May to the 17th June, 1848. 

I would make one or two suggestions to you. The Mexi- 
cans are captious and verbose writers, and if you get into a dis- 
cussion with them on any subject, it will have no end. Accom- 
plish, therefore, as much as possible by conversation. Indeed, 
this is a good rule in diplomatic intercourse. 



1848] TO MR. DONELSON 167 

Again, I would advise you to consult your own excellent 
judgment in all cases which may arise, and not delay your action 
awaiting instructions from the Department, unless in cases of 
serious doubt and difficulty. 

I have this moment received the letter from the Secretary of 
War under date of . Tliis will enable you to explain 

the want of punctuality on our part which there is reason to 
apprehend in making the payments required by the third article 
of the Treaty. 

I am, Sir, very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. DONELSON.^ 

(No. 19.) Department of State. 

Washington, 15th August, 1848. 
To Andrew J. Donelson, Esqre., 

Appointed Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipo- 
tentiary to the Federal Government of Germany, 
Frankf ort-on-the-Main . 
Sir: 

The President, by and with the advice and consent of the 
Senate, having appointed you Envoy Extraordinary and Minister 
Plenipotentiary of the United States to the Federal Government 
of Germany, I transmit, herewith, — 
I St. Your Commission; and 

2nd. A Letter of Credence, addressed to the Arch-Duke 
John, with an office copy of the same, which you will .deliver to 
the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Government, 
upon asking, through him, an audience of the Arch-Duke, for the 
purpose of presenting the original. 

The President has manifested his high appreciation of your 
zeal and abilities by conferring upon you this important appoint- 
ment. Whilst it is our established policy never to interfere in 
the domestic concerns of foreign nations, we cannot view with 
indifference the efforts now in progress to unite all the German 
States in a more intimate Federal Union. We cordially wish 



MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Prussia, XIV. 127. 



168 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

that these efforts may result in the estabHshment of a Constitu- 
tion for all Germany which will render the Nation great and 
powerful, and will secure to every German citizen the blessings 
of liberty and order. We cannot, however, close our eyes to the 
difficulties which the German Parliament will have to encounter 
in their progress. These, it is presumed, will chiefly arise from 
the reluctance of the Sovereigns of the several States to surren- 
der to the Federal Government such a portion of their separate 
powers and prerogatives as may be necessary to accomplish the 
great objects for which the German people are now contending. 
But we rely much upon their patient and persevering character 
lo overcome this and all other difficulties. 

Upon the delivery of your Letter of Credence to the Arch- 
Duke John, you will make such remarks as may be dictated by 
your own good judgment and discretion, and by your knowledge 
of the lively interest which the President feels in all that concerns 
the powxr, prosperity, and liberty of Germany. A very large 
portion of our own population, as you know, consists of Germans 
and their descendants; and they are distinguished for the sound 
good sense, the patient industry, and the firm integrity which 
belong to them in their father-land. We have no more useful 
citizens. 

For the principles which have ever guided this Government 
in recognizing the independence of foreign Governments, and in 
abstaining from all interference in the domestic concerns of 
foreign nations, I would refer you to my despatch to Mr. Rush, 
of the 31st March last, with a copy of which you have already 
been furnished. You will be particularly careful in your conduct 
at Frankfort to avoid giving any just cause of offence to the 
Prussian Government ; with which it is our sincere desire to main- 
tain the most friendly relations. Your position, in this respect, 
will be the more delicate, and will require the greater circum- 
spection, from the fact that you will represent your country both 
at Berlin and at Frankfort. 

The most important object of your mission will be, to obtain 
such an adjustment of the German Tariff as will admit our 
important productions into German ports at a reasonable rate 
of duty. Our existing Tariff, as you are aware, is exclusively 
a revenue Tariff. No higher duties are levied upon imports than 
are necessary to supply the wants of the Government. It is 
our sincere desire to extend our trade with Germany upon prin- 
ciples of the most liberal and equal reciprocity. The interest of 



1848] TO MR. DONELSON 169 

both Nations, I am persuaded, will be essentially promoted by 
such a policy; whilst the intercourse thus established between 
them would essentially promote mutual feelings of friendship and 
good will. The Kingdom of Hanover and the Grand Duchies 
of Oldenburg and Mecklenburg-Schwerin, actuated by these 
principles, have already, to a considerable extent, entered into 
just and liberal commercial stipulations with the United States. 
I now enclose to you a copy of our Treaty with Hanover, and 
of the accession to it of Oldenburg and Mecklenburg-Schwerin ; 
and trust that the German Parliament may not do less in their 
Tariff for Germany than has already been done by these three 
States. Besides, it would be exceedingly inconvenient to have 
one rule adopted in regard to importations and transit duties in 
these States, extending as they do so great a distance along the 
North Sea and the Baltic, and another rule for the remaining 
States of Germany. This argument may be urged with great 
force. 

It appears to me that the collection of transit duties through- 
out the different States of Germany w^ould be inconsistent with 
the nature of a Federal Government for the whole. It would be 
contrary to all our ideas in this Country to collect such duties 
on goods passing in any direction in and through the States 
of this Union. Such duties are annoying, are injurious to trade, 
and ought to be abolished. When foreign goods have once paid 
the proper duties of import, and fairly entered any of the 
ports of Germany, they ought to be permitted to circulate freely 
throughout the Empire. Any other policy would be repugnant 
to the idea of a Federal Union. 

For your own information, I transmit a memorandum, pre- 
pared at the Treasury Department, of the rates of duty imposed 
imder our present Tariff on the principal articles of merchandise 
imported from Germany. 

My last despatch to you was dated on the 7th instant, and 
numbered 18. 

I am. Sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



170 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO MR. BIDLACK/ 

(No. 21.) Department of State, 

Washington, i6th August, 1848. 
To B. A. BiDLACK, Esquire, 

&c. &c. &c. 
Sir: 

The Government of Venezuela having- assumed its propor- 
tion of the claim of John D. Danels on the late Republic of 
Colombia for the seizure, by authorities of that Republic, of his 
vessels the ''Iris" and ''DiHgence" and their cargoes, you will 
take an early opportunity to apply to the Government of New 
Granada for its share of the indemnification due in the same 
case. The accompanying copy of the agreement upon the sub- 
ject between the claimant and the Minister for Foreign Affairs 
of Venezuela will acquaint you with the particulars of the adjust- 
ment on the part of that government. The long period which 
has elapsed since the seizure was made, the circumstances attend- 
ing it and the patience with which the injured party has waited 
for redress, should lead to a prompt recognition and payment 
of the liability of New Granada. 
T am, Sir, very respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. SHIELDS, 



(No. 27.) Department of State. 

Washington, i6th August, 1848. 
To B. G. Shields, Esquire, 

&c. &c. &c. 
Sir: 

Your despatches to No. 65, inclusive, have been received. 
At the instance of Mr. Robert M. McLane of the House of Repre- 
sentatives, a friend of Commodore Danels, I have to request that 
you will hold, subject to the orders of the Commodore, the certifi- 
cates of stock which you have received from the Government of 
Venezuela in satisfaction of that part of his claim on the late 
Republic of Colombia which that government has assumed. Any 



^MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Colombia, XV. 118. 
^ MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Venezuela, I. 75. 



1848] TO MR. BUTLER 171 

interest which may have been paid upon the stock you will like- 
wise hold subject to the Commodore's order. 

The Department understands that it is his intention to pro- 
ceed himself from Caracas to Bogota and Quito for the purpose 
of aiding Messrs. Bidlack and Livingston in effecting an adjust- 
ment of the residue of the claim with the Governments of New 
Granada and Ecuador, respectively. There are papers on the 
files of your Legation which will be useful for this purpose. You 
will consequently cause him to be provided with copies of these. 

I am, Sir, very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James BuchaiNtan. 



TO MR. BUTLER.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, i6th Aug., 1848. 
Benjamin F. Butler. Esq. 

U. S. Attorney for the Southern Dist. 
of N. Y. — New York city. 
Sir: 

I have received your letter of the 4th instant. I am ex- 
ceedingly anxious to have the case of Metzger finally decided 
by the Supreme Court of the U. S. at their next term. From 
your letter of February 8, I had supposed there could be no 
doubt we should be able to accomplish this object. It is due to 
the French Government, which has taken an unusual interest in 
this case, as well as to the important principles of constitutional 
law involved in it, that it should be decided by the Supreme 
Court. Should the decision be favorable, Metzger may yet be 
arrested. The passage of the late Act concerning extradition 
ought not in any degree to interfere with the prosecution of the 
case to a final result. 

The decision of Judge Edmonds, after what Mr. Justice 
McLean said in delivering the opinion of the Court in this case, 
(5 Howard, 188,) produced no little astonishment in this city. 

I am. Sir, &c., 

James Buchanan. 



^MSS. Department of State, 2,"] Domestic Letters, 7. 



172 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO MR. RUSH/ 

(No. 23.) Department of State, 

Washington, i8th Aug., 1848. 
Richard Rush, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

I have the honor to transmit to you, herewith, an autograph 
letter of the President of the United States, written in answer to 
a Hke communication (accompanied by a note fron^i the French 
Minister of Foreign Affairs) addressed to him by General 
Cavaignac, the President of the Council and Chief of the Execu- 
tive Power of the French Republic. An office copy of it is en- 
closed for the use of your Legation. Translations of General 
Cavaignac's and Mr. Bastide's letters, the originals of which were 
delivered by Major Poussin upon the occasion of his audience of 
presentation, are also sent. 

You wnll take an early occasion after the receipt of this 
despatch to ascertain at the office of Foreign Affairs at what 
time and in what manner it will be most agreeable to General 
Cavaignac to receive the letter of the President, and will conform 
to his wishes on the subject. 
I am, Sir, respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. CLIFFORD.^ 

(No. 5.) Department of State, 

Washington, i8th August, 1848. 
To Nathan Clifford, Esquire, 
&c. &c. &c. 
The Bill for the appointment of a Commissioner and Sur- 
veyor to run and mark the boundary line under the 5th article 
of the Treaty with Mexico, after having passed the Senate, was 
lost in the House for want of time and amidst the pressure of 
business w^hich always attends the close of a session. Congress 
will, beyond question, pass this Bill very early in December, next, 
and it is the desire of the President to carrv into execution this 



'MSS. Department of State, Instructions, France, XV. 75. 
""MSS. Department of State, Ir^structions, Mexico, XVI. no. 



1848] TO MR. CLIFFORD 173 

article of the Treaty with the least possible delay. In the mean\ 
time, you are instructed to make this explanation to the Mexican ^ 
Minister for Foreign Affairs, and it would be advisable for the 
Mexican Government at once to appoint their Commissioner and 
Surveyor. A knowledge of the fact would hasten the action 
of Congress. You might, also, ascertain at what season of the 
year it would be most proper to commence the survey, and when 
the Commissioner and Surveyor on the part of Mexico can be 
at San Diego. The Civil and Diplomatic Act approved on the 
I2th instant contains the following provision: " For the expenses 
of running and marking the boundary line between the United 
States and Mexico, and paying the salaries of the officers of the 
Commission, a sum not exceeding fifty thousand dollars." 

This appropriation was doubtless made wath a view to carry 
into effect the Act w^hich failed in the House; but it is far from 
being certain that the President may not, under the Treaty, nomi- 
nate a Commissioner and Surveyor to the Senate on their meet- 
ing in December. Should this course be deemed proper, these 
officers may be appointed during the first week of the session, 
and the appropriation may be applied to cover their expenses. 

The British Government have objected to that clause of the 
late Treaty by which it is declared that " the boundary line be- 
tween the two Republics shall commence in the Gulf of Mexico, 
three leagues " [instead of one] " from land, opposite the mouth 
of the Rio Grande." To this I shall answer civilly, that the 
stipulation can only aft'ect the rights of Mexico and the United 
States, and for this reason third parties can have no just cause 
of complaint. 

I am. Sir, very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 

P. S. The Bill providing for the appointment of a Board of 
Commissioners to adjust claims of citizens of the United States 
on Mexico also failed in the House of Representatives for the 
same reasons as that for the establishment of the Boundary 
Commission. 



174 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO GENERAL LANE/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, i8th Aug., 1848. 
Gen. Joseph Lane, 

Evansville, Indiana. 
Sir: 

The President having appointed yon Governor of the terri- 
tory of Oregon, I have the honor herewith to enclose your 
commission. I also enclose a duly certified copy of the '' Act to 
establish the Territorial Government of Oregon." 

This communication will be delivered to you by Joseph L. 
Meek, Esq., who has been appointed Marshal of the District of 
Oregon. It is his purpose to proceed to Oregon without delay; 
and the Secretary of War will provide him the necessary escort 
for his safe passage. The President is exceedingly anxious 
that you should accompany him, if this be possible. The present 
condition of Oregon demands your presence; and he well knows 
that you are willing to make any sacrifices of personal conveni- 
ence and comfort for the good of your country. 
Yours vQry respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. CRAMPTON.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 19th Augt., 1848. 
John F. Crampton, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

I have the honor to transmit to you, herewith, a copy of a 
letter addressed to this Department by the Secretary of the 
Treasury on the i8th instant, requesting that permission be 
solicited, through you, Sir, from the British Government, to 
transfer from the Ocean to the Lakes, via the river St. Lawrence, 
two small schooners, to replace the steamers the " Jefferson " 
and the " Dallas," lately withdrawn from the revenue service on 
Lakes Erie and Ontario. 



* MSS. Department of State, 37 Domestic Letters, 8. 

'MSS. Department of State, Notes to Great Britain, VII. 186. 



1848] TO MR. CRAMPTON 175 

From the promptitude with which you exerted your good 
offices in the case of the steamers, I feel no hesitation in bespeak- 
ing them again on this occasion ; and am, Sir, with high consid- 
eration, your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. CRAMPTON.' 

Department of State, 

Washington, 19th Augt., 1848. 
John F. Crampton, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

I have had the honor to receive your note of the 30th April 
last, objecting, on behalf of the British Government, to that 
clause in the fifth article of the late treaty between Mexico and 
the United States, by which it is declared, that '' the boundary 
line between the two Republics shall commence in the Gulf of 
Mexico three leagues from land," instead of one league from 
land, which you observe " is acknowledged by international law 
and practice as the extent of territorial jurisdiction over the sea 
that washes the coasts of States." 

In answer, I have to state, that the stipulation in the treaty 
can only affect the rights of Mexico and the United States. If 
for their mutual convenience it has been deemed proper to enter 
into such an arrangement, third parties can have no just cause 
of complaint. The Government of the United States never 
intended by this stipulation to question the rights which Great 
Britain or any other Power may possess under the law of nations. 

I avail myself of the opportunity to renew to you, Sir, the 
assurance of my high consideration. 

James Buchanan. 



' MSS. Department of State, Notes to Great Britain, VII. 185. 



176 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO MR. CAUSTEN/ 

Department of State, 
Washington, 19th August, 1848. 
James H. Causten, Esq., 

Washington. 
Sir: 

Your letter of the 17th inst., relative to the claim on the 
late Republic of Texas in the case of the schooner Mary Eliza- 
beth, has been received. Since the admission of that Republic 
into this Union, the Government of the U. S. has been absolved 
from all obligations to prosecute the claims against the Texan 
Government for which its interposition had previously been 
invoked. It has consequently held the papers relating to such 
claims subject to the orders of the parties interested. If, there- 
fore, Mr. J. P. Powers, the claimant in the case of the Mary 
Elizabeth, should desire the documents relative to that claim, 
those on file in this Department can be surrendered at once, and 
the Department will give an order for the delivery, to any 
authorised agent of his, of those which were sent to the Legation 
in Texas. The latter are believed to be either in the Custom 
House at Galvezton, or in the office of the Secretary of State 
of Texas. 

I am, &c., 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. DAVIS/ 



No. 2. Department of State, 

Washington, 21st. Augt., 1848. 
John W. Davis, Esq. 

&c. &c. &c. 
Sir: 

I hasten to transmit to you, herewith, an authenticated 
copy of a law passed a few days before the close of the recent 
session of Congress, entitled " An Act to carry into effect certain 
provisions in the treaties between the United States and China, 
and the Ottoman Porte, giving certain judicial powers to Min- 
isters and Consuls of the United States in those countries." 



* MSS. Department of State, 2>7 Domestic Letters, 9. 
^MSS. Department of State, Instructions, China, I. 56. 



1848] TO MR. MARCY 177 

I meant to have accompanied this copy with some observations 
which might prove useful to yourself, and to the other func- 
tionaries in China upon whom additional authority is devolved, 
in the exercise of your new duties ; but time will not allow this, 
at present, and I must defer the proposed task another week. 
I am, Sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. MARCY.^ 



Department of State, 

Washington, 21st Aug., 1848. 
Hon. W. L. Marcy, 

Secretary of War. 
Sir : 

I have the honor to communicate, for the information of 
the War Department, a copy of translations of two notes under 
date the 6th and loth ultimo, respectively, addressed by the 
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Mexican Republic to Mr. 
Clifford, the U. S. Minister at Mexico, the first complaining 
that the restoration of the Custom House at Mazatlan to the 
Mexican authorities was not attended with the formalities re- 
quired by the 3d Article of the Treaty of Peace, and the second 
officer in command of our forces at Tampico had refused to give 
up the vessels belonging to the nation which served as a guard 
to the Maritime Custom House there, and vessels which were 
taken on our occupation of that port. 

The letter from the War Department of the i6th inst. has 
been received, and a transcript of it has been forwarded to Mr. 
Clifford. 

I have the honor, &c., 

James Buchanan. 



^MSS. Department of State, 37 Domestic Letters, 9. A similar letter, 
except the last paragraph, was sent on the same day to the Hon. John Y. 
Mason, Secretary of the Navy; id. 10. 
Vol. VIII— 12 



178 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO MR. SANFORD/ 

Washington, August 21, 1848. 
Dear Sir: I have jnst received yours of the 12th instant, 
in which you submit to me the following paragraph, and ask 
whether it contains an accurate version of the conversation be- 
tween us, concerning my Berks county letter, on the occasion to 
which you refer : 

Happening to meet Mr. Buchanan at the President's levee, on Friday 
evening, I called his attention to this letter, and asked him if he intended 
to be understood as claiming that the population of a Territory, in an 
unorganized capacity, had the right to control the question of slavery in 
such Territory. He declared that no such idea had ever been maintained 
by him ; that the construction put upon his language by Mr. Yancey was a 
perversion of its plain and obvious meaning ; that, in his opinion, the inhab- 
itants of a Territory, as such, had no political rights, [although they possessed 
all the private rights of American citizens;] that they had no power whatever 
over the subject of slavery; and they could neither interdict nor establish 
it, except when assembled in convention to form a State constitution. He 
further authorized and requested me to make any public use of these 
declarations that I might think proper, to correct any impression which 
Mr. Yancey's construction of his language in the Berks letter might have 
made. 

With the addition which I have inserted between brackets, 
this statement is substantially and almost literally correct, 
according to my recollection. 

In my letter to Berks county of 25th August, 1847, I had 
said, '' under the Missouri compromise slavery was forever 
prohibited north of the parallel of 36° 30', and south of the 
parallel the question was left to be decided by the people." What 
people? Undoubtedly the people of the Territory assembled in 
convention to form a State constitution and ask admission into 
the Union; and not the first adventurers or '' first comers " who 
might happen to arrive in the Territory, assembled in public 
meeting. If a doubt on this subject could possibly exist, it is 
removed by the next succeeding sentence of my letter. I pro- 
ceeded to state : '' Congress, on the admission of Texas, adopted 
the same rule," etc. And what was this rule? ''The Joint 
Resolution for annexing Texas to the United States," approved 
March i, 1845, answers the question in the following words: 
'* And such States as may be formed out of that portion of said 
Territory lying south of 36° 30' north latitude, commonly known 



Cong. Globe, 34 Cong, i Sess. XXXHL, Appendix, 1250. 



1848] TO MISS LANE 179 

as the Missouri compromise line, shall be admitted into the 
Union, with or without slavery, as the people of each State asking 
admission may desire." Such was the description of the people 
to whom I referred in my Berks county letter. 

Any other construction of the letter would render it essen- 
tially inconsistent with itself. Having urged the adoption of 
the Missouri Compromise, the inference is irresistible that Con- 
gress, in my opinion, possesses the power to legislate upon the 
subject of slavery in the Territories. What an absurdity would 
it then be, if, whilst asserting this sovereign power in Congress, 
which power from its nature must be exclusive, I should, in the 
very same breath, also claim this identical power '' for the 
population of a Territory in an unorganized capacity!" 

In conclusion, I desire to reiterate and reaffirm every senti- 
ment contained in my Berks county letter. I cling to the 
Missouri compromise with greater tenacity than ever, and yet 
firmly believe that it will be adopted by Congress. 
Yours, very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 
T. Sanford^ Esq. 



TO MISS LANE.^ 

Washington 22 August 1848, 
My dear Harriet/ 

I have this moment received your letter of the 20th Instant. 
I answered your former letter very soon after it was received & 
am sorry that my answer miscarried. 

I expect sister Maria here to-day or to-morrow and of course 

.^ At this moment I was interrupted by the agreeable 

information that she had arrived & I have just seen her. It is 
now four years since I enjoyed that pleasure. How long she 
will remain I do not know ; but it will be impossible to leave 
before her departure. vShe will remain until James ^ shall receive 
his appointment in the Revenue Cutter service which was kindly 
promised him by Mr. Walker, but which cannot be conferred 
until after the President's return, who is not expected until this 
day week the 29th Instant. From present appearances, I shall 



^Buchanan Papers, private collection; Curtis's Buchanan, I. 541. 
"" Perhaps Mrs. Yates ; but the word is not completed in the original. 
' James Buchanan Yates. 



180 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

not be able to leave Washington before the first of September. 
I cannot, therefore, promise positively to visit Rockaway. 

I hope you are enjoying yourself, & may be benefited in 
your health by the sea bathing. 

Should I go to New York I may take you as far as West 
Point. I presume the season will be too late for the Saratoga 
Springs. 

Give my kindest regards to Mrs. Bache & the ladies, & 
believe me to be ever yours affectionately 

James Buchanan. 
Miss Harriet Lane. 

P. S. My former letter was directed to Rockaway, Long 
Island, New York. 



TO MR. PLEASONTON.^ 

Department of State, 

23d August, 1848. 
Stephen Pleasonton, Esq. 

Fifth Auditor Treasury U. S. 
Sir: 

By the provisions of a recent act of Congress entitled '^ an 
act supplementary to ' an act to authorize the Secretary of State 
to liquidate certain claims therein mentioned,' passed the i8th 
of April, 1814," the Secretary of State is directed to examine, 
according to principles of equity and justice, the claim of Joseph 
de la Francia for advances made for the use and benefit of the 
U. S., prior to and since the taking of that portion of the late 
province of West Florida described in the said act (approved 
1 8th April, 18 14) as included within the limits of the state of 
Louisiana, or the Mississippi Territory, by the United States. 

In order that this Department may be the better enabled to 
fulfil the duty thus devolved upon it, I have the honor to request 
that you will communicate to me all the information in the pos- 
session of your office likely to contribute to a full understanding 
of the merits of this claim of Joseph de la Francia upon the 
U. S., accompanied by such observations or remarks as you may 
judge requisite to illustrate the subject. 

I am. Sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



^ MSS. Department of State, 27 Domestic Letters, 10. 



1848] TO MR. TEN EYCK 181 

TO MR. BILLE.^ 

Department of State, 
Washington, 24th August, 1848. 
Mr. Steen Bille, 

&c. &c., Philadelphia. 
Sir: 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note 
of the 22nd Instant, communicating, under instructions, a copy 
of a despatch from your Government, dated at Copenhagen on 
the 24th ultimo. 

These communications will be laid before the President 
upon his return to the Seat of Government; and, in the mean 
time, I seize the occasion to express to you my profound regret 
that any circumstances should have unexpectedly arisen to retard 
or jeopard the negotiations for peace, and return to harmony, 
of which this Government had been led to regard the armistice, 
lately entered into by the respective Governments of Denmark 
and Prussia, as the certain harbinger. 

I am, Sir, with great consideration. 

Your obedient servant 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. TEN EYCK.^ 

(No. 7.) Department of State, 

Waspiington, 28th August, 1848. 
To Anthony Ten Eyck, Esquire 

&c. &c. &c. 
Sir, 

Your despatches to No. 35, inclusive, have been received. 
You often complain that you have not been promptly furnished 
with full instructions upon points which seem to you to require 
them. I have two answers to give to these complaints. 

I. From your despatch of the 25th May, 1847, ^^ well as 
from information derived from another source, I expected daily 
to be informed of your resignation. Under these circumstances, 
I deemed it advisable to await the departure of your successor 
from the United States and give him full instructions in fegard 
to the objects of his mission. 



^MSS. Department of State, Notes to Danish Legation, VL 20. 
' MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Hawaii, II. i. 



182 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

2d. Whilst expecting your return, I felt reluctant to express 
my disapprobation of any portion of your conduct as the Repre- 
sentative of your Country. 

One principal object of your mission, as appears from your 
original instructions, dated loth September, 1845, was to 
negotiate a Treaty with the Hawaiian Government upon the 
basis of their Treaties with Great Britain and France, although 
you were not limited to their provisions. A copy of the Treaty 
with Great Britain was furnished you as a guide. Although you 
doubtless had it in your power to negotiate such a Treaty upon 
your first arrival ; yet you submitted to the Hawaiian Government 
the pro jet of a Treaty to which, as I intimated to you in my 
despatch of the i8th June, 1847, they would not accede, because 
it trenched '' too much on their rights as an independent nation; " 
and such proved to be the fact. By the same Despatch you were 
again instructed to conclude a Treaty similar to that with Great 
Britain, if a better could not be obtained; and in opposition to 
your opinion, I expressed the belief, after re-examining the 
subject, that such a Treaty '' could not fail to prove advantageous 
to our interests." It now appears from your Despatches of the 
15th February and 4th May last that it is doubtful whether the 
Hawaiian Government will conclude such a Treaty with the 
United States ; and the opportunity may have been lost of placing 
us on the same footing with Great Britain and France. 

Your efforts to secure the just claims of American citizens 
to lands in the Hawaiian Islands were laudable in themselves, 
and in these efforts you ought still to persist ; but they ought not 
to have delayed or prevented you from concluding a Treaty in 
obedience to your instructions. 

The President has learned with regret and astonishment 
the probable refusal of the Hawaiian Government to conclude a 
Treaty with the United States upon the terms of their Treaty 
with Great Britain. He entertains the hope that this may not be 
their final determination. If it should, he will be compelled to 
consider it as evidence of a want of friendly feeling towards this 
Government. We desire no advantages over these nations ; but 
equal and exact justice requires that we should be placed upon 
the same footing. This we have a right to expect. Should they 
afterwards consent to annul or modify these Treaties, the 
Hawaiian Government have no reason to doubt that we would 
act towards them in the same liberal spirit. 

You might, should this become necessary, limit the duration 



1848] TO MR. TEN EYCK 183 

of the Treaty to a term of years, as has been usual in our treaties 
with other nations, but to continue thereafter until one or the 
other party shall give a year's notice of its intention to termi- 
nate it. 

You appear not fully to have understood your powers and 
duties under the law of nations in regard to claims of American 
citizens on Foreign Governments. I cannot explain these more 
clearly than by extracting a few sentences from a letter dated 
on the nth November, 1847, and addressed by this Department 
to Vice President Dallas, in answer to an application made by 
him in behalf of an American citizen. The extract follows : — 
" It has been the practice of this Department to confine its 
official action in the recovery of indemnity from foreign Govern- 
ments to tortious acts committed under their authority against 
the persons and property of our Citizens. In the case of viola- 
tion of contract, the rule has been not to interfere, unless under 
very peculiar circumstances, and then only to instruct our 
diplomatic agents abroad to use their good offices in behalf of 
American citizens, with the Governments to which they are 
accredited. The distinction between claims arising from torts 
and from contracts is, I believe, recognised by all nations, and 
the reasons for this distinction will readily occur to your own 
mind." This letter was carefully considered and adopted by 
the President and the entire Cabinet. I might add, that if this 
were not the rule, Governments and especially our Government, 
would be involved in endless difficulties. Our citizens go abroad 
over the whole world and enter into contracts with all foreign 
Governments. In doing this they must estimate the character 
of those with whom they contract, and assume the risk of their 
ability and will to execute their contracts. Upon a different 
principle, it would become the duty of the Government of one 
country to enforce the payment of loans made by its citizens 
and subjects to the Government of another country. This might 
prove exceedingly inconvenient to some of the States of this 
Union as well as to other Sovereign States. 

In regard to the jurisdiction of the Courts of Independent 
Nations over American citizens resident within their limits, it 
became necessary for me, on the ist February, 1848, to address a 
note to Mr. Osma, the Minister from Peru, which also received 
the sanction of the President and Cabinet. From it I make 
the following extract. " Citizens of the United States whilst 
residing in Peru are subject to its laws and the Treaties existing 



184 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

between the parties, and are amenable to its Courts of Justice for 
any crimes or offences which they may commit. It is the 
province of the Judiciary to construe and administer the laws, 
and if this be done promptly and impartially towards American 
citizens and with a just regard to their rights, they have no cause 
of complaint. In such cases they have no right to appeal for 
redress to the diplomatic representative of their country, nor 
ought he to regard their complaints. It is only where justice 
has been denied or unreasonably delayed by the Courts of 
Justice of foreign countries, w'here these are used as instruments 
to oppress American citizens or to deprive them of their just 
rights, that they are warranted in appealing to their government 
to interpose." All these are ancient and well established prin- 
ciples of public law; and the quotations are made merely to 
shew that they have received the formal sanction of this 
Government. 

A public Minister resident abroad can always render im- 
portant services unofficially to his countrymen in cases of con- 
tracts with foreign Governments. From the peculiar condition 
of the Sandwdch Islands, the number of American residents, the 
feebleness of the Government, and the want of knowledge upon 
the part of its native functionaries, interpositions of this char- 
acter are oftener necessary than with long established Govern- 
ments. And from the great distance, it is your duty to act in 
such cases, upon your own judgment and discretion, without 
first consulting this Department. Upon these occasions you can 
probably accomplish more in private conversations than in any 
other manner; but in order to render your aid effectual you 
should cultivate the most friendly personal relations with the 
King and all his high officers. This truth being so obvious, I 
was surprised to learn that you had acted as agent or counsel 
for Ladd & Company in conducting their proceedings against the 
Government, which could not fail to bring you into direct collision 
with the Hawaiian authorities. I could not have anticipated 
this after you had been informed, in your original instructions, 
that " one great cause of the difficulties betw^een Mr. Brown and 
the Hawaiian authorities arose from his conduct as an attorney 
in defending James Gray, an American Seaman, before a 
Hawaiian Court, on a charge for assault and battery. It was 
highly improper for a diplomatic Representative of the United 
States to practice law in the Courts of the country to which 
he was accredited, and in the opinion of the President is zvholly 



1848] TO MR. TEN EYCK 185 

inconsistent zvitJi the Diplomatic character." From all that I 
have said, you will not be surprised to learn that the President 
of the United States does not deem it proper to interfere officially 
for the purpose of redressing the alleged grievances of your 
clients Messrs. Ladd & Company. Their claim arises purely from 
contract, and results from a denial on their part of the right 
of the Hawaiian Government to levy upon property owned or 
claimed by them, tow^ards satisfying a debt to that government 
judicially acknowledged to be due. This denial is based upon 
the ground that pursuant to a contract entered into at Brussels 
on the 17th of May, 1843, the alleged parties to which were 
the Hawaiian Government, the Belgian Colonization Company, 
and Ladd and Company, the last named party conveyed to the 
Company certain property and privileges at the Islands, posses- 
sion of which, however, they [Ladd & Co.] were to retain until 
the Belgian Company was ready to receive it, pursuant to the 
terms of the contract. Ladd and Company contend that by this 
stipulation the Hawaiian Government engaged to maintain them 
in possession of the property in any event and against any other 
claimants, even ordinary creditors. This, however, that govern- 
ment denies, and having itself been a creditor of the firm, it 
seized and sold on execution a part of the property referred to. 
Soon after your arrival at the Islands, however, the Hawaiian 
government was induced to refer all its matters in dispute with 
Ladd & Co. to arbitrators, who entered into an elaborate investi- 
gation of their case, in the course of which many witnesses were 
examined in their behalf. The trial, with occasional interrup- 
tions, extended over several months, but before the case on the 
part of the Government had been opened, Ladd & Co. withdrew 
from the arbitration, on the alleged grounds of a want of means 
to prosecute it further, and of the captious course of the Attor- 
ney on the part of that government. To the first of these, the 
Hawaiian government has replied, that it offered, upon proper 
security, to advance the means necessary to carry on the arbitra- 
tion. Mr. Ricord, the Attorney on the part of the Hawaiian 
Government, sometimes, without doubt, unduly urged the rights 
of his client, but this disposition appears to have been properly 
checked by the arbitrators. Certain it is, however, that these 
creditors \vho are now the parties in interest might have had it 
finally decided, had they thought proper, by a board of respectable 
arbitrators. Whether the claim be just or unjust on the part of 
Messrs. Ladd & Company, who are now prosecuting it for their 
creditors, I shall not express an opinion. 



186 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

But if the claim were never so just, if it had been a case in 
which this Government were bound officially to interfere, and if 
the amount due to the claimants had been acknowledged by the 
Hawaiian Government, the President could not employ the naval 
force of the United States to enforce its payment without the 
authority of an Act of Congress. The war making power alone 
can authorize such a measure. The President, therefore, regrets 
that you should have so far mistaken your powers as to have 
called upon Commander Du Pont of the Cyane in September last 
and '' inquired of him whether he would consider any directions 
or instructions from me [you] in my [your] official capacity as 
at all obligatory upon him in case I [you] should find it necessary 
to use the force under his command to compel compliance with 
any demands I [you] should think proper to make on this [the 
Hawaiian] Government." Commander Du Pont very properly 
replied in the negative ; and informed you that under his general 
instructions he should feel bound to cultivate the most friendly 
relations w:ith all the Officials of this [the Hawaiian] Gov- 
ernment. 

From the whole tenor of your Despatch, it is evident, that 
had he consented, you might have involved your country in an 
act of war against the Sandwich Islands. You expressly say, 
that you had intended to make demands upon the Hawaiian 
Government for reparation and indemnity for some of our 
citizens whose rights and liberties had been invaded in a most 
gross and illegal manner, provided you should obtain his assist- 
ance zvith the force under his command, in case any demands 
were not complied with and you should find it necessary and 
expedient to call upon him. 

You must for some reason have taken up the idea that the 
Hawaiian Government was not to be treated as an independent 
Government by the United States; and yet I am not aware of 
any thing peculiar in the relations between the two countries 
which would justify us in discriminating between that and other 
nations whose independence we have recognized. Mr. Calhoun, 
in a note addressed to Messrs. Richards & Haalitio, the Hawaiian 
Commissioners, dated on the 6th July, 1844, informed them 
that " the President regarded his message to Congress of the 31st 
December, 1842, the proceedings of the House of Representatives 
thereon, and the appropriation made for the compensation of a 
Commissioner of the United States who was subsequently ap- 
pointed to reside in the islands, as a full recognition, on the part 



1848] TO MR. TEN EYCK 187 

of the United States, of the independence of the Hawaiian 
Government." Besides, the letter of President Polk to the Kino- 
which you bore with you, dated on the loth September, 1845, 
treated him as an independent sovereign. 

This Government, having thus pledged itself to accord to 
that of the Hawaiian Islands the rights and privileges of a 
sovereign State, cannot in honor or justice demand from it anv 
thing which, under like circumstances, it w^ould not demand from 
the most powerful nations. I can discover nothing which would 
justify this Government in objecting to the decisions of the 
Hawaiian Courts in ordinary cases arising under the municipal 
laws of the Country, or in dictating the policy which that Govern- 
ment should pursue upon any domestic subject, and especially that 
of the tenure of real estate by resident foreigners. 

If the ordinary privileges of a sovereign state are to be 
allowed to the Hawaiian Government, it will be difficult justly 
to question its unqualified right to prescribe the rules by which 
real estate is to be held in the Islands. It is the policy of most 
governments to withhold from aliens fee simple titles to lands. 
This policy is based upon the ground that it is expedient for the 
exclusive ownership of the soil of a country to be vested in 
those v/ho owe allegiance to its government. If, as you repre- 
sent, citizens of the United States have improved lands and 
other real property in the Islands under the impression that their 
titles thereto were perfect, that their government would concur 
with them in this opinion and would require the Hawaiian 
Government to conform thereto, they certainly are mistaken. 
Their rights must be measured by the laws and customs of the 
Islands as expounded by the Judicial tribunals. If they have 
been mistaken in regard to these laws and customs, it is a mis- 
fortune which you will use your best efforts to remedy, i. By 
exerting all your influence to procure the legislation necessary 
to render their titles valid: and 2, if this cannot be accomplished, 
to procure indemnity for them to the value of any improvements 
which they may have made upon the lands. This Government 
would have reason to expect such a proof of friendship to the 
United States and such an act of justice towards the claimants. 
Still you will be careful in your representations upon this subject 
to avoid the appearance of dictating to the Hawaiian Govern- 
ment what course they should pursue. Earnest persuasion 
proceeding from the Representative of the United States will be 
much more powerful in accomplishing the object than a per- 



188 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

emptory demand, accompanied by a threat, which the Hawaiian 
GoveiTiment must well know would not be justified by the law 
of Nations, nor enforced by the President and Congress. I do 
not consider it necessary to enter upon the proceedings in the 
action for a libel brought by Peter A. Brinsmade, who seems to 
have been the active partner of the firm of Ladd & Co., against 
James Jackson Jarvis, the Editor of the Polynesian. Upon the 
question whether the plaintiff was entitled to have a jury drawn 
and empanelled to try the cause, there seems to have been an 
unsearchable latitude of testimony and discussion permitted by 
the Court. Had Mr. Brinsmade formally discontinued tlie 
action on the 5th May, 1846, the time appointed for the hearing 
of this question, the proceedings must then have terminated. It 
is probable that he may have thought he had done so, when after 
reading his protest he withdrew from the Court, " and begged 
to allow himself to be defaulted if such was the Judge's deci- 
sion." To what decision of the Judge he referred upon which 
this default was to take effect, does not clearly appear. At all 
events, the Judge proceeded to hear testimony as well as a very 
long argument of the defendant's Counsel on the question 
whether the plaintiff was entitled to a Jury. In the progress of 
the investigation, several American citizens were called as wit- 
nesses, and refusing to testify were committed for this contempt. 
Under these circumstances, I do not think they are entitled to 
call upon the Government to demand redress from the Hawaiian 
Government. They had no right to question the authority of 
the Court of an independent Country before whom they were 
subpoenaed ; and a witness is everywhere liable to punishment for 
refusing to testify. If this were not the case. Courts of Justice 
would become a mere mockery. 

You now have the General views of the Department upon 
the questions presented by your despatches. That they do not 
harmonize with your own, I deeply regret. Our recognition of 
the independence of the Sandwich Islands was deliberate and 
unreserved, and was bestowed with a knowledge of the past 
history and existing state of those Islands ample to warrant the 
measure. We were aware that ministers of the gospel from the 
United States had for a considerable period been sedulously and 
successfully employed in raising the natives from barbarism by 
teaching them the truths of Christianity, by making their lan- 
guage a written one, and by translating into it the holy scriptures 
and such works, religious, moral, and political, as were adapted 



1848] TO MR. TEN EYCK 189 

to their capacity and calculated to enable them so to discharge 
their duties here as to have reason to hope for a higher destiny 
hereafter. We were aware that physicians from the United 
States had been called thither to heal their sick, mechanics to 
exercise their various trades, and merchants to minister to those 
w^ants of the natives which their rising condition in the scale of 
humanity had already created and would progressively increase. 
We were also aware that the Hawaiian havens were thronged 
by our whalemen in quest of refreshments and recreation from 
their toil, and that this was a great incentive to the industry of 
the population and an important source of revenue to the Govern- 
ment. All these presented motives for sympathy and good will 
on the part of that government towards the United States, too 
strong to justify any apprehension that we should not have a 
proper influence in its Councils, or that it would disregard our 
rights and interests. For these reasons, it is my conviction that 
if in a conciliatory spirit you would devote your efforts to 
acquire a just and honorable influence over the Hawaiian 
authorities, you might accomplish the object. Such a result 
would be highly advantageous to both countries. You might 
thus by your counsel and advice render the Hawaiian Govern- 
ment as well as the citizens of your own country important 
services. We ardently desire that the Hawaiian Islands may 
maintain their independence. It would be highly injurious to 
our interests, if, tempted by their weakness, they should be seized 
by Great Britain or France: more especially so since our recent 
acquisitions from Mexico on the Pacific Ocean. 

It may be true that the King has selected as his ministers 
naturalized foreigners w^ho are covetous, selfish, and cunning, 
and who seek to gratify their propensities to his detriment. If 
such be the case, he deserves pity. But what could be the 
motives which would actuate even such men to provoke our just 
resentment or to defy our power, I am at a loss to conceive. 
Having been the first to welcome the Hawaiian Islands into the 
community of Nations, it is our true policy, weak and feeble as 
they are, to treat them with as much kindness and forbearance 
as may be consistent with the maintenance of our own just 
rights. Such is the opinion of the President. I would barely 
remark in regard to your appointment of Mr. Brinsmade as 
bearer of Despatches to the United States, that you ought to be 
careful not to make such appointments, with a promise of pay, 
unless in cases of great importance and pressing necessity. The 



190 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

occasions are very rare, indeed, in which this Department or 
our foreign Ministers find it necessary to employ paid bearers 
of Despatches. There are so many Americans abroad who 
would desire to return home at the expense of the Government, 
that the Department is compelled to be strict upon this subject. 
The Secretaries of War and the Navy, with very great reluctance, 
united with me in paying Mr. Brinsmade's expenses. 
I am. Sir, very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. CRAMPTON/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 29th Augt., 1848. 
John F. Crampton, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

With reference to the note which, under instructions from 
3^our Government, you addressed to this Department on the 226. 
of July, 1847, relating to embarrassments which had arisen in 
consequence of the representative of the United States in China 
not having power to exercise any judicial authority over the 
citizens of the United States resident in that Empire, and ex- 
pressing the confidence of Her Majesty's Government that the 
Government of the United States will see the expediency of 
establishing in China some tribunals competent to take cog- 
nizance of complaints against American citizens, in the same 
manner that the British tribunals there would take cognizance 
of complaints which might be made by United States citizens 
against British subjects, I have the honor to transmit to you 
printed copies of an act passed at the recent session of Congress 
" to carry into effect certain provisions in the treaties between 
the United States and China and the Ottoman Porte, giving 
certain judicial powers to Ministers and Consuls of the United 
States in those countries,'' whereby authority has been vested in 
those functionaries to remedy the evil to which you have invited 
attention. 

I avail myself of this occasion to renew to you the assurance 
of my distinguished consideration. 

James Buchanan. 



^MSS. Department of State, Notes to Great Britain, VII. 186. 



1848] TO MR. SPRAGUE 191 

TO MR. HEMPSTEAD.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, Aug: 29th, 1848. 
Sir: I have received your letter of the 29th Ulto: and 
have to thank you for the information it contains. You will 
please give your attention to all matters of interest transpiring 
at or near your Consulate, and report them promptly to the 
Department. I have to request, that in conformity with your 
General Instructions, your despatches may be regularly 
numbered. 

I am. Sir, &c., 

James Buchanan. 
C. Hempstead Esore. 
U. S. Consul, Belize. 



TO MR. SPRAGUE.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, Aug. 29th, li 
Horatio J. Sprague, Esqre. 

U. S. Consul, Gibraltar. 
Sir, 

I have received your despatch No. 2, in which you state, 
that, '' the Austrian Consulship General at Gibraltar being 
vacant, you have been solicited from Austria to accept it." In 
reply to your request '' to be favored with the wishes of the 
President and the instructions of this Department " on the 
subject, I have to state that such acceptance would be in violation 
of the 9th Section of the ist Art: of the Constitution of the 
U. States, which provides that '' no person holding any ofifice 
of profit or trust under them shall, without the consent of 
Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title of any 
kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State." 

I am. Sir, &c. 

James Buchanan. 



'MSS. Department of State, Despatches to Consuls, XII. 393) H. Ex. 
Doc. 75, 31 Cong. I Sess. 312. 

^MSS. Department of State, Despatches to Consuls, XII. 393. 



192 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO MR. CRAMPTON/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 30th Augt., 1848. 
John F. Crampton, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

I have the honor to communicate to you, herewith, printed 
copies of an act passed at the late session of Congress, entitled 
" An Act for giving effect to certain treaty stipulations between 
this and foreign Governments, for the apprehension and delivery 
up of certain offenders," the provisions of which, it is hoped, 
wall much facilitate the apprehension, commitment, and sur- 
render of certain criminals, fugitives from the justice of their 
own countries, who may hereafter seek an asylum in the United 
States. 

I avail myself of the opportunity to renew to you. Sir, 
the assurance of my high consideration. 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. DURANT ET AL.^ 

(Circular.) Department of State, 

Washington, 30th August, 1848. 

Sir: Without any information upon the subject except 
that which is derived from the public journals, there is good 
reason to apprehend that certain citizens of the U. S. are now 
engaged in preparing a military expedition for the invasion of 
Mexico. Their object, it seems, is to revolutionize the Northern 
states of that Republic, and to establish what they denominate 
the Republic of the Sierra Madre. 

Such an attempt to excite, aid, and assist a rebellion against 
the Mexican Government would be a flagrant violation of our 
national obligations. If American citizens can engage in such 
enterprises with impunity, then the commerce and peace of the 
country are placed at the mercy of adventurers who may issue 
from the I J. States for the purpose of making war against 
foreign Governments. These remarks apply to our intercourse 
with all nations ; but under existing circumstances they are more 



^ MSS. Department of State, Notes to Great Britain, VII. 187. 
^ MSS. Department of State, 37 Domestic Letters, 14. 



1848] TO MR. DURANT 193 

peculiarly applicable to the Mexican Republic than to any other 
country. In the fifth article of our late Treaty of Peace with 
the Mexican Republic, it is expressly provided that " The 
boundary line established by this article shall be religiously 
respected by each of the two Republics, and no change shall ever 
be made therein, except by the express and free consent of both 
nations, lawfully given by the General Government of each 
in conformity with its own Constitution " — and the President, in 
a message to the Senate of the U. S. of the 8th instant, has 
declared that " the late Treaty of Peace with Mexico has been 
and will be faithfully observed on our part." 

The Congress of the U. S. have done their duty to enforce 
in good faith our international obligations. They commenced 
this good work so early as June, 1794, adopting and enforcing 
the principles of Washington's celebrated proclamation of neu- 
trality of the year preceding. They passed several acts subse- 
quently upon the same subject : and finally, on the 20th April, 
1 818, they passed the '' Act in addition to the ' Act for the 
punishment of certain crimes against the U. States,' and to repeal 
the Acts therein mentioned." This act has repealed all former 
laws to enforce our neutral obligations and has embodied all the 
provisions which were deemed necessary for this purpose. It 
will be found in " the U. S. Statutes at Large," vol. 3, page 447, 
and in the " Laws of the U. States," vol. 6, page 320 : and to this 
Act I invite your special attention. If faithfully executed, it 
will be found amply sufficient to prevent or to crush the proposed 
expedition against the Mexican states North of the Sierra Madre. 
You will observe that among other provisions it is declared 
[Section I.] to be a misdemeanor, punishable with severe 
penalties, for any citizen of the U. S., within the territory or 
jurisdiction thereof, to '' accept and exercise a commission to 
serve a foreign prince, state, colony, district, or people, in war, 
by land or by sea, against any prince, state, colony, district, or 
people, with whom the U. S. are at peace" — or [Section II.] 
for any person, whether a citizen or not, within the territory or 
jurisdiction of the U. S., to " enlist or enter himself, or hire 
or retain another person to enlist or enter himself, or hire or 
retain another person to go beyond the limits or jurisdiction of 
the U. S. with intent to be enlisted or entered in the service of 
any foreign prince, state, colony, district, or people, as a soldier, 
or as a marine or seaman" — or [Section VI.] for any person, 
whether a citizen or not, within the territory or jurisdiction of 

Vol. VIII— 13 



194 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

the United States, to ^' begin or set on foot, or provide or prepare 
the means for, any military expedition or enterprise to be 
carried on from thence against the territory or dominions of 
any foreign prince or state, or of any colony, district, or people 
with whom the United States are at peace." 

I have adverted specially to these provisions because they 
seem to be peculiarly applicable to the present occasion ; but desire 
to call your particular attention to the whole act. 

I am directed by the President to instruct you to use the 
utmost vigilance in discovering any violations of the provisions 
of this Act throughout your district : and in all cases where the 
proof which you can obtain shall be deemed sufficient to warrant 
a conviction, to institute prosecutions immediately against the 
offenders. It is your duty, also, to warn all persons who, you 
have reason to believe, intend to violate this Act, that they shall 
be prosecuted with the utmost rigor in case they should persist. 

The honor, as well as the peace, of the country, demands 
that no effort shall be spared to enforce in good faith the wise 
and salutar}^ provisions of this law in favor of the Mexican 
Republic. 

You are also instructed to keep this Department regularly 
advised of all the information which you can acquire on the 
subject of the alleged expedition against the Northern states of 
Mexico. I shall expect an immediate acknowledgment of the 
receipt of this letter, together with all the information on the 
subject then in your possession. 

The Secretary of War, under the direction of the President, 
has this day transmitted to Major General Taylor an order to 
execute the provisions of the 8th section of this Act, which so 
far as the same would seem to be applicable to the present case 
are as follows : '' that in every case " "in which any military 
expedition or enterprise shall be begun or set on foot, contrary 
to the provisions and prohibitions of this act," '' it shall be lawful 
for the President of the U. S., or such other person as he shall 
have empowered for that purpose, to employ su'ch part of the 
land or naval forces of the U. S., or of the militia thereof," *' for 
the purpose of preventing the carrying on of any such expedi- 
tion or enterprise from the territories or jurisdiction of the U. S., 
against the territories or dominions of au}^ foreign prince or 
state, or of any colony, district, or people, with whom the U. S. 
are at peace." You will, therefore, not fail to communicate to 
him any information now in your possession, or which you may 



1848] TO MR. STILES 195 

hereafter obtain, that may be useful to him in the performance 
of this duty. 

Yours very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 

P. S. The Secretary of the Treasury being now absent 
from the city, the President instructs you to infomi the Collector 
or Collectors of the Ports within your District that he shall 
expect them to be vigilant in executing the provisions of the tenth 
and eleventh sections of the Act of 20th April, 1818, and in 
preventing these from being violated to the injury of the Mexican 
Republic. 

The above sent to 

Thomas J. Durant, Esq., U. S. Attorney at New Orleans, Louisiana. 
Thomas J. Gantt, Esq., U. S. Attorney at St. Louis, Missouri. 
Alexander B. Meek, Esq., U. S. Attorney at (S. D.) Mobile, Alabama. 
Richard M. Gaines, Esq., U. S. Attorney at (S. D.) Natchez, Mississippi. 
Francis H. Merriman, Esq., U. S. Attorney at Galveston, Texas. 
Samuel H. Hempstead, Esq., U. S. Attorney at Little Rock, Ark. 
Henry W. McCorry, Esq., U. S. Attorney at (W. D.) Jackson, Tennessee. 



TO MR. STILES.^ 

No. 23. Department of State, 

Washington, 31st August, 1848. 
William H. Stiles, Esqre., 

etc., etc., Vienna. 
Sir : — 

My last letter to you was dated on the 6th ultimo; and I 
have now to acknowledge the receipt of your despatches to No. 
36 inclusive. 

The Department entirely approves of the course you have 
pursued in exposing the pretended deputation of political ad- 
venturers who claimed to represent the feelings of this country 
in regard to Austria. 

I am, Sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



^MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Austria, L 53. 



196 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO MR. ROWAN/ 

(No. 4.) Department of State, 

Washington, 31st August, 1848. 
John Rowan, Esore., 
&c., &c., Naples. 
Sir: 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your 
despatches of the ist, loth, and 17th ultimo, — the first and last 
numbered i and 3, whilst that of the loth July was not numbered. 
The agitations of Italy, and the precarious position of 
several of its States, give a special value to the communications 
from our Diplomatic Representatives in that part of the world. 
In the difficult position in which you may be placed, I would refer 
you, as a guide for your conduct, to my despatch to Mr. Rush 
of the 31st March last, fof which I transmit you a copy,) con- 
taining an exposition of the policy of this Government in regard 
to the recognition of foreign Governments, and to our non- 
interference in the domestic concerns of foreign nations. 

The Department has not yet received intelligence of the 
arrival of Mr. Martin at Rome. 
I am. Sir, respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. BILLE.^ 

Department of State, 
Washington, 31st August, 1848. 
Mr. Steen EiLLE, 

&c. &c. &c. 
Sir: 

In acknowledging the receipt of your note of the 28th 
instant, I have the honor to state that I have given orders for 
the immediate publication of the notice of the enforcement and 
extension of blockade in the North Sea and the Baltic, which you 
have communicated therein, on the part of your Government. 
I am. Sir, with great consideration. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



^MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Two Sicilies, XIV. 55. 
^ MSS. Department of State, Notes to Danish Legation, VI. 21. 



1848] TO MAJOR GRAHAM 197 

TO MAJOR GRAHAM/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 31st Aug., 1848. 
Major James D. Graham, 

Washington. 
Sir: 

I have received your letter of the i6th instant, and in answer 
have to state, that as Congress deemed it expedient to make an 
appropriation of $10,000 '' for the purpose of restoring, by 
reconstruction, under the direction of the Secretary of State, the 
maps showing the demarcation of boundary under the Treaty of 
Washington of August 9th, 1842, which were destroyed by fire 
at the city of Washington, on the night of April 17th, 1848, and 
of procuring the authentication thereof," I informed you some 
time since that you were designated to take charge of this duty. 
As you were the Chief of the scientific corps employed under the 
Treaty in constructing the original maps, you are certainly the 
most proper person to be employed in their reconstruction. Their 
authentication, after they shall have been reconstructed, and the 
disposition of that portion of the appropriation necessary for this 
purpose, are reserved for the Secretary of State. 

You will accordingly commence operations immediately, if 
this has not already been done, with a view to as speedy a 
termination of the work as shall be consistent with accuracy. 

I can perceive no objection to the estimate which you have 
furnished, unless it may be to the personal expenses of yourself 
and other scientific officers of the topographical corps, and the 
extra allowance to the soldiers. The question whether these can 
be allowed under the second section of the Act, approved August 
23d, 1842, '' m.aking appropriations for the support of the army 
and of the military academy for the year 1842," will be referred 
to the Attorney General. 

I observe that your estimate for reconstruction consumes 
almost the whole appropriation, leaving but a small balance to 
cover the expense of authentication. I trust you may be able to 
reduce this estimate. 

From your assurances I confidently expect that the w^ork 
wall be completed at the end of one year. If it can be done 
sooner, so much the better. 

I am, &c. 

James Buchanan. 



MSS. Department of State, 2>7 Domestic Letters, 17. 



198 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO MR. ANDERSON/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 31st Aug: 1848. 
A. J. Anderson, Esqre. 
Charleston, S. C. 
Sir, 

I have received your letter of the 21st, transmitting copies 
of certain papers, relating to a difference between Mr. Wells, 
Consul of the U. States at Bermuda, and his Consular Agent 
at Hamilton ; and soliciting for the latter, Mr. Watson, an 
appointment, as Consul for the Port of Hamilton. Unless in 
cases where just exception is made to the character of the Agent, 
this Department does not interfere wdth the free right of selection 
on the part of the Consuls. Such Agents being exclusively re- 
sponsible to the Consuls, neither is it usual for these Agents to 
correspond with the Department, nor for it to take part in any 
controversies, or discussions, which may arise between them and 
their principals. Without further remark respecting your appli- 
cation in favor of Mr. Watson, it will be sufficient for the present 
to state, that without the previous advice and consent of the 
Senate the President does not create new Consulships, and it is 
doubtful whether he possesses the power. He would not, there- 
fore, under any circumstances, appoint a Consul for the Port of 
Hamilton before the next meeting of the Senate. 

I am, &c. 

[ames Buchanan. 



TO UNITED STATES CONSULS/ 

(Circular.) Department of State, 

Washington, Septr. ist, 1848. 
To THE Consul of the United States, at 

Sir : — The great increase in the amount annually expended 
for the relief and protection of destitute American Seamen in 
foreign Countries calls upon this Department to adopt all proper 
measures, compatible with the relief and protection of that 
meritorious class of our Citizens, for the reduction of this 
expenditure. In such regulations as may be adopted for this 



^ MSS. Department of State, Despatches to Consuls, XII. 394. 
*MSS. Department of State, Despatches to Consuls, XIII. 105. 



1848] TO CONSULS 199 

purpose, I calculate with confidence on the efficient co-operation 
of the Consuls of the United States, to whose administration, 
under the instructions of this Department, is entrusted the funds 
appropriated for the relief and protection of Seamen. 

Among the causes which appear to have produced this 
increased expenditure is that of the detention of Seamen at some 
Consulates for long periods of time. There can be but two 
reasons for this practice: ist, a deficiency of American or other 
Vessels, bound to the United States, by which they might be 
sent home; or 2nd, such a state of infirm health of the Seamen 
as would render it improper to send them on the voyage. In 
order to guard against an improper expenditure from this cause, 
the Fifth Auditor has adopted a rule to suspend, in the adjust- 
ment of Consular accounts, all charges for relief afforded to 
Seamen who have been for more than three months chargeable 
to the United States, unless the accounts are accompanied by 
satisfactory evidence: ist, that the detention was caused by a 
want of Vessels in which they might have been shipped to the 
United States; or 2nd, that the health of the Seamen was in 
such a state that it would endanger their lives to have sent them 
on the homeward voyage. The evidence in the latter case is to 
be by the oath to the fact of the attending Physician. 

Approving of this rule, I call your attention to it, and 
earnestty enjoin a strict compliance with it in all cases to which it 
may be applicable. This will be requisite to ensure the payment 
of your drafts on this Department. 

In places where, from the infrequent departure of Vessels 
bound to the United States, opportunities of sending Seamen 
home seldom occur, and where employment on board of American 
Vessels cannot be obtained, it may be proper for the Consul, in 
the exercise of a sound discretion, to embrace opportunities of 
shipping them to an intermediate port where they would be 
likely to find such employment, or a passage to the United States. 
The Consul will, in this case, make a specific agreement with the 
master of the Vessel, at the most reasonable rate, for their 
passage; giving to him a draft on this Department for the 
amount, upon which it shall be expressed that its payment shall 
be upon the sole condition that there shall be endorsed upon it 
a certificate of the Consul at the port to which the vessel may be 
bound, that the Seamen named have arrived at his Consulate. 
In the exercise of this discretion the Consul will take into con- 
sideration the relative cost of keeping the Seamen where they 



200 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

are, and at the port to which they can be sent, together with the 
expense of their passage to, and the probabihty of their obtaining 
employment at, or a passage home from the latter, and adopt that 
course which may appear the most economical, as well as con- 
ducive to the relief, &c., of the Seamen. 

You are requested to acknowledge the receipt of this com- 
munication and to transmit a list of the Seamen who may be 
chargeable at your Consulate, specifying the dates when they 
became so, respectively. You will also transmit with all your 
future quarterly accounts a list of the Seamen then chargeable, 
the number of vessels, American and foreign, and their tonnage, 
which may have sailed for the United States subsequent to the 
date of your last account, and a statement of the Seamen sent 
home by them. 

Your particular observance of these regulations is earnestly 
enjoined, as well as the adoption of such measures as your experi- 
ence may suggest for the faithful and economical administration 
of the funds committed to you. 

I annex an extract of a letter from the Fifth Auditor, under 
date of the 30th Ultimo, containing a suggestion which meets 
my approbation. 

I am, Sir, 

Your obedient Servant, 

James Buchanan. 

[Extract.] 

From a letter of the Fifth Auditor to the Secretary of State, dated 
August 30th, 1848: 

" To obviate the excuse sometimes made for retaining Seamen at the 
Consulates, viz. : the want of Vessels homeward bound in which to send 
them, I respectfully suggest, as the law fixes the number of Seamen which 
Vessels of the United States shall be required to bring and the price to be 
paid for their passages, that the Consuls be instructed, when an American 
Vessel has received two Seamen for every one hundred tons burthen at the 
price fixed by law, to bargain with the Master of such Vessel for the 
passage of an additional number at a reasonable compensation above the 
ten dollars fixed by law to be paid on his certificate in the usual way at the 
Treasury. And also with Masters of foreign vessels at reasonable rates when 
opportunities by American Vessels do not offer. It would often be economy 
to pay 50 or 100 dollars to have Seamen sent home from the Sandwich and 
other Islands of the Pacific, where they have been kept longer and at greater 
expense than at other Consulates." 



1848] TO MR. HAMILTON 201 

TO MR. DAVIS.^ 

No. 3. Department of State, 

Washington, ist Septr., 1848. 
John W. Davis, Esq. 

&c. &c. &c. 
Sir: 

When I addressed yon on the 21st nltimo, I was under the 
impression that the Act of August nth, 1848, was to be executed 
under the superintendence of the State Department. It was for 
this reason I stated that it had been my intention to accompany 
the copy of that Act with some observations which might prove 
useful to yourself and to the other functionaries in China. From 
a careful examination of the provisions since, I find that the 
Agency of the Secretary of State is not contemplated. The high 
powers which it confers upon you are to be exercised by yourself 
without any reference to this Department. I address you this 
lest you might be prevented by the observations in my former 
despatch from carrying the law into immediate execution. 

The President has referred the subject to the Attorney 
General as properly belonging to his Department ; but as the Act 
clearly specifies your powers and duties, it is doubtful whether 
any instructions will be sent to you through that office. At all 
events, you are to proceed without awaiting such instructions. 

I am. Sir, respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. HAMILTON.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 25th Sept: 1848. 
R. M. Hamilton, Esqre. 

U. S. Consul, Montevideo. 
Sir, 

Your despatch No. 151, under date the 30th June last, with 
the accompanying correspondence, and documents relative, in 
part, to the debt due to Messrs. William Musser & Co. by the 
Montevidean Government, has been received. 



^MSS. Department of State, Instructions, China, I. 57. 

^MSS. Department of State, Despatches to Consuls, XIII. 116. 



202 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

The new proposition of that Government for the payment of 
this claim having been communicated to Messrs. Musser & Co. 
of Philadelphia, and approved by them, and being considered by 
you under existing circumstances to be reasonable the Depart- 
ment can see no objection to your accepting it. 

I am, Sir, &c. 

James Buchanan. 



TO W. M. MEREDITH.^ 

Washington, September 25, 1848. 
My Dear Sir: — 

Upon my return to this city, on Saturday night, I found 
your letter to Mr. P'ordney kindly offering to dispose of Wheat- 
land, including all that you bought from Mr. Potter, to myself 
at the price you paid, and the matting in the house at a valuation. 
I accept this proposition, and you may consider the bargain 
closed. 

Of the purchase-money T can conveniently pay $1750 at 
present, and the remainder on or before the first of January. If, 
however, you should need it sooner, I can procure it without 
much difficulty. 

You can make the deed when you think proper, and the 
affair of the matting may be arranged at any time. 

With many thanks for your kindness, 

I remain yours very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. HAMILTON/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, Septr. 26, 1848. 
R. M. Hamilton, Esqre. 

U. S. C. Montevideo. 
Sir, 

Referring to my letter of the 19th May last, I have now to 
acknowledge the receipt of your despatches to No. 150 inclusive, 
with the enclosures to which they refer — also of one, not num- 



^ Curtis's Buchanan, II. 3-4. 

''MSS. Department of State, Despatches to Consuls, XIII. 112. 



1848] TO MR. BANCROFT 203 

bered, dated July 5th, covering your Returns & Statement of 
Fees to the 30th of June last. 

As requested in your No. 145, I enclose a duplicate of a 
letter addressed to 3^ou on the 30th Septr. 1847, acknowledging 
the receipt of despatches Nos. 136, 137, 138, & 139. 

The attention of the Department has been directed to your 
No. 148, upon the subject of an Appeal of the Government of 
Montevideo soliciting aid from the Foreign Diplomatic & Con- 
sular Agents residing in that City. Your course in declining to 
respond favorably to this appeal, and in refusing to induce your 
fellow Countrymen to subscribe for the purpose of affording 
means to meet the exigencies of the War in which that Govern- 
ment is now engaged, is altogether approved. 

I am, Sir, &c. 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. BANCROFT.^ 

No. 40. Department of State, 

Washington, 27th Sept. 1848. 

Sir: Referring to the instructions addressed to you from 

this Department on the 4th instant, (No. 36,)^ I have the honor 

to transmit, herewith, a copy of a letter recently received by the 

President from Mr. Richard F. Ryan ; who states that he is an 



^MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Great Britain, XV. 368; H. Ex. 
Doc. 19, 30 Cong. 2 Sess. 17-18. 

^The instruction referred to (MSS. Department of State, Instructions, 
Great Britain, XV. 364) was as follows : 

(No. 2^.) Department of State, 

George Bancroft, Esqre., Washington, Septr. 4th, 1848. 

&c., &c., &c. 

Sir : Having been appointed Secretary of State, ad interim, during the 
temporary absence of Mr. Buchanan, I am directed by the President to call 
your attention to the condition of those American citizens who have been 
arrested and held for trial under the charge of sedition or treason, for 
interference in the affairs of Ireland. 

This Department has no ofBcial knowledge of any such arrest or inter- 
ference, nor any information on the subject, except such as is before the 
public. I am not, therefore, able to furnish you with a list of names, or 
to aid your inquiries ; yet so much has transpired through the public journals 
as to induce a belief that such arrests have taken place, and to make it 
expedient that they should attract some official notice. 

If, upon inquiry, it shall be ascertained that any such arrests have 
occurred, it will be right, and the duty of the Government, to see that the 



204 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

American citizen, illegally imprisoned in Newgate, Dublin, and 
soliciting the interference of this Government to obtain his 
release from confinement. 

You are requested immediately to institute inquiries in the 
proper quarter in regard to this complaint, and if the case of 
Mr. Ryan prove to be a proper one for intervention, you will 
exercise your good offices in obtaining his discharge, or at least 
a prompt and fair trial. 

I am, Sir, respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 
George Bancroft, Esqre., &c., &c., &c. 



persons arrested have the full benefit of a legal defence. And it may be, 
and in the present instance is, its duty also to interpose its good offices in 
their behalf, beyond the strict limit of securing for them a full and fair 
trial. 

It is the wish of the President, and he instructs you to urge upon the 
British Government the adoption of a magnanimous and merciful course 
towards these men who have been implicated in the late disturbances in 
Ireland. The calamities which have recently befallen her starving popula- 
tion by the dispensation of Providence in the destruction of her crops, the 
close bonds of sympathy between them and a large class who have removed 
and established themselves permanently in America, the national sympathy 
which has been extensively manifested in acts of charity and good will 
towards the Irish people, and the unsettled state of so large a portion of 
the civilized world, constitute a series of exciting causes so powerful as to 
render it hardly possible that an interference or outbreak to some extent 
should not have taken place. 

But the power of the British Government is so great that it can well 
afford to be magnanimous. Perhaps no act on its part would have so happy 
an effect, or would be received by other nations with more universal appro- 
bation than an act of general amnesty. While the Government of the United 
States disclaims any right to interfere on behalf of British subjects, it is 
at liberty to say that such an act, so far as it embraced the case of our 
own citizens, would be regarded with particular favor. And should an act 
of grace and pardon extended to our own citizens be deemed to carry along 
with it the necessity of similar favor to British subjects in Ireland, it is 
believed that that necessity would constitute no objection to the measure, 
but would redound to the honor of Great Britain, in the estimation of the 
wise and good in all ages. 

It is the desire of the President that this subject be presented to Her 
Majesty's Government with great delicacy, and pressed by all the considera- 
tions that may occur to you and appropriately belong to it. 

I am, Sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

Isaac Toucey. 



1848] TO MR. HYATT 205 

TO MR. HYATT.^ 

No. 3. Department of State, 

Washington, 27th September, 1848. 
T. H. Hyatt, Esqre., 

United States Consul, Tangier. 
Sir : — 

I have the honor to aclcnowledge the receipt of your de- 
spatch No. 3, of the i2th ultimo, which was received on the nth 
instant, and would have been promptly answered but for my 
absence from Washington. 

Although the practice of making presents to the Barbary 
Rulers, partaking, as it always did, of the nature of tribute, has 
been entirely abolished by this Government, the President, in 
view of all the considerations submitted by you, in connection 
with the event of the Emperor's purposed visit to the City of 
Tangier, has deemed it expedient and politic to acquiesce in your 
suggestion, and to permit you to act, on the occasion, as the other 
Representatives in Tangier shall be instructed to act by their 
respective Governments. 

You are accordingly hereby authorized to draw upon this 
Department for a sum not to exceed $1000, to be expended in 
suitable presents to the Emperor; in the selection of which you 
will exercise your own discretion. This expenditure will, of 
course, as usual, be supported by vouchers, in all cases where 
practicable. 

If, however, you should discover that the offer of presents 
to the Emperor is not to be general among the Foreign Repre- 
sentatives in Tangier, then you will not act upon this instruction. 
Besides, the occasion may have passed before this despatch can 
reach you ; and in that event you will not tender a present, unless, 
in your opinion, the interest of your country may require this 
from its Representative. 

You will make the Emperor's visit to Tangier, should it 
take place, the occasion of expressing to His Majesty, through 
the usual and proper channel, the friendly sentiments of the 
United States towards Elis Majesty. 

I am, Sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Barbary Powers, XIV. 69. 



206 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO MR. PATTON/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 27th Sept., 1848. 
John M. Patton, Esq., 

My dear Sir : On my return to this city on Saturday last 
I found your favor of the 15th inst., enquiring whether the 
Treaties of the U. S. with foreign powers, stipulating that the 
citizens or subjects of the one, although aliens, might acquire 
lands by inheritance or devise within the territories of the other, 
extended to the states as well as the territories of the Union. 
In answer I have no hesitation in stating that these Treaties em- 
brace all our states as well as territories. The very first Treaty 
of amity and commerce which the U. States ever concluded, 
contained a provision of this character, and many similar treaties 
have since been made. (Vide the nth article of the Treaty with 
France of the 6th February, 1778, and the judicial construction 
upon it in the case of Chirac v. Chirac — 2 Wharton's Reports, 

P- 259-) 

This Government has always been anxious to conclude such 

treaties, because without tliem American citizens inheriting real 

or succeeding to personal estate throughout the continent of 

Europe would be greatly the sufferers. 

Yours very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. FLENNIKEN.^ 

(No. 6.) Department of State, 

Washington, 30th September, 1848. 
Robert P. Flenniken, Esqre., 

&c. &c. Copenhagen. 
Sir: 

My last despatch was dated on the 31st ultimo, since which 
time I have received your despatches of the 2nd and 26th ultimo, 
and of the 2nd instant. 

In conformity with your suggestion, the notice of blockade 
communicated in your No. 42 was officially published. I was 
much gratified to learn from your No. 44, received on the 26th 



^ MSS. Department of State, zi Domestic Letters, 29. 
^MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Denmark, XIV. 59. 



1848] TO MR. FISHER 207 

ultimo, as well as from a note, received the clay before yesterday, 
from Mr. V. Bille, that a Convention for an armistice had been 
concluded, which, it was hoped, would receive the sanction of the 
Government at Frankfort, and pave the way to ultimate pacifica- 
tion; but subsequent intelligence received at the Department 
announces the fact that that sanction has been withheld. 
I am, Sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. FISHER.^ 



Department of State, 

Washington, Sept: 30th 1848. 
John W. Fisher, Esqre. 

U. S. C. Guadeloupe. 
Sir, 

Your letter of the 29th of August last, with the Petition 
therein enclosed of many of the inhabitants of the Island of 
Guadeloupe, " reduced to painful circumstances by the freedom 
of the Slave population " and its apprehended results, addressed 
to the President, praying that he will '' favor them with such 
facilities as would enable them to retire and settle on such part of 
the United States which he might deem convenient to grant 
them," has been by him referred to this Department. In reply, 
I have to state, that though deeply sympathising in the misfor- 
tunes with which the Petitioners are visited, the President has 
not the Constitutional power to alleviate them in the manner 
proposed, because Congress alone possess the power to appropri- 
ate any portion of the public lands. The protection and benefits 
of our laws and institutions are accessible to all who may desire 
to enjoy them. Should the Petitioners be disposed to emigrate 
to the United States, they wnll find a cordial welcome from our 
people, and, in numerous objects of enterprize and industry, the 
best assurance of comfort and independence. 

I am &c. 

James Buchanan. 



'MSS. Department of State, Despatches to Consuls, XII. 402. 



208 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

FROM PRESIDENT POLK/ 

Washington City, 

Sept. 30th, 1848. 
Sir: 

I invite your attention to two publications, which appeared in the New 
York Evening Post of the 28th of July, and were re-published in the 
National Intelligencer of the ist of August last, the one bearing the signa- 
ture of Benjamin Toppan and the other that of Francis P. Blair. Shortly 
after my arrival in Washington in February 1845, I invited you to accept a 
place in my Cabinet. After you had signified your willingness to accept the 
position tendered to you, I was upon terms of confidential and unreserved 
intercourse with you. That you might be fully informed, in advance, of the 
principles on which my administration would be conducted, I submitted to 
you, for your examination, the Inaugural Address which I afterwards 
delivered to my fellow-citizens, and conferred freely with you in relation 
to public affairs. No opinions which I entertained upon any public subject, 
upon which we may have conversed, were withheld from you. The subject of 
the annexation of Texas to the United States was at that time under con- 
sideration in Congress. You were a member of the Senate and took part in 
the proceedings which were had in relation to it. As it may become proper 
that I should at some future period take some notice of the publications of 
Mr. Tap pan and Mr. Blair, I request that you will furnish me with a state- 
ment of all you may know of any opinions, views, or acts of mine, as well 
before as after my Inauguration as President, relating to the subject of the 
annexation of Texas to the United States. I desire that you will state any 
conversations which I may at any time have held with you, and any 
opinions I may have expressed to you, either individually or in Cabinet, on 
the subject of the annexation of Texas, and also all you may know, if any 
thing, in relation to the matters set forth by Messrs. Tappan & Blair in 
their publications, and whether you had any knowledge or information of 
the statements made by them, when the subject of the annexation of Texas 
was before the Senate, of which body you were at the time a member. I 
desire that nothing I have ever said or done on the subject should be con- 
cealed from the public. The annexation of Texas was a measure of the 
highest National importance, conceived and consummated with pure and 
patriotic motives, and it may become proper, and especially after the pub- 
lications referred to, that the opinions, views, and action of all the public 
functionaries entrusted at any stage of its progress with its management 
should be fully known. — ^With this object in view I address you this letter. 

Yours Respectfully 



James K. Polk. 



To THE HONBLE. JaMES BuCHANAN. 



^ Buchanan Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. See Mr. 
Buchanan to President Polk, Nov. 9, 1848, infra. 



1848] TO MR. HOPKINS 209 

TO MR. HOPKINS.^ 

(No. 7.) Department of State, 

Washington, 2nd October, 1848. 
George W. Hopkins, Esqre., 

&c., &c., Lisbon. 
Sir: 

Your despatch No. 9, of the 29th of July, was not received 
at the Department till the 21st ultimo. The accounts and vouchers 
which accompanied it have been referred to the 5th Auditor of 
the Treasury. 

The Department has also received, through the hands of 
Consul Roach, the confidential papers w^hich you were directed to 
withdraw^ from the Legation and transmit hither. 

Your observations respecting our commerce with Portugal 
are perfectly just : and the attention of the present administration 
has been specially directed to our Treaties of commerce with 
foreign countries, several of which are unequal and unjust in 
their operation towards the United States. There is reciprocity 
on their face, whilst in practice they are any thing but reciprocal. 
We have, also, made some progress in correcting this evil. But 
what can we do with Portugal, in the present unfortunate condi- 
tion of that country? Under existing circumstances, is there 
any hope that we can prevail upon her to admit our " cotton, rice, 
salt fish, and bread stuffs," ''upon terms of just reciprocity"? 
If there be, and you will suggest to me what course I ought to 
pursue, I shall make every effort within my power to accomplish 
this desirable object. 

What would be the effect of annulling the existing Treaty, 
which can now be done by Act of Congress? Would this bring 
Portugal to terms ? I apprehend not. 

In conversation, Mr. Figaniere has made many strong repre- 
sentations against our Tariff of July 30th, 1846. He attempted 
to prove that this Act, in changing the former specific into ad 
valorem duties on wines, and thereby increasing the duty, in- 
juriously affected the wine-growers of Portugal, and was a viola- 
tion of the spirit, if not of the letter of the Treaty. In answer, 
I stated, that this Treaty had not restrained, and never could 
have intended to restrain, Congress from changing our Tariff 
according to its own views of public policy. Besides, if the 



^ MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Portugal, XIV. 105. 
Vol. VIII— 14 



210 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

Government of Portugal thought itself ag-grieved, they could 
annul the Treaty by giving the required notice. I may add, that 
no intention exists, so far as I know, of reducing the duties on 
Portuguese wines ; nor will this be done, unless for an 
equivalent. 

I know nothing practicable, at present, but for you, when- 
ever an occasion may offer, to enlighten those in authority in 
Portugal on the subject of their own interest; and to convince 
them how advantageous it would be to themselves to open a trade 
with the United States upon fair and equal principles of 
reciprocity. 

I am. Sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. MARCY/ 



Department of State, 

Washington, 2d Oct., 1848. 
Hon. W. L. Marcy, 

Secretary of War. 
Sir: 

I have the honor of referring to you a note of the i6th 
September last, with the accompanying documents, which I have 
received from Mr. Calderon, the Envoy Ex'traordinary and 
Minister Plenipotentiary of Her Majesty the Queen of Spain, 
presenting twenty-eight claims of Spanish subjects against the 
Government of the United States for indemnification for losses 
and spoliation of property, which they allege they have suffered 
from the American troops during their occupation of Mexico. 
The documents are all in the Spanish language; and it will take 
much time to have them translated. They are transmitted to you 
in the original, supposing that you might desire to avail yourself 
of the information which Genl. Persifor F. Smith may possess 
upon the subject, during his visit to this city. His opinion on 
the general character of these claims might also be of importance, 
as he was Governor of the city of Mexico when several of them 
originated, and is eminently qualified to form a correct judgment 
in regard to their validity. 



MSS. Department of State, :i;7 Domestic Letters, ZZ- 



1848] TO MR. VOORHIES 211 

As soon as you shall be enabled to form a judgment upon 
these claims, you will be good enough to communicate your 
opinion upon them respectively for the information of the 
Spanish Government. 

I am, Sir, with great respect, &c., 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. VOORHIES.^ 

Department of State, 
Washington, 7th October, 1848. 

Sir : Previous to your departure for California, the Presi- 
dent has instructed me to make known through your agency, to 
the citizens of the United States inhabiting that territory, his 
views respecting their present condition and future prospects. 
He deems it proper to employ you for this purpose, because the 
Postmaster General has appointed you an agent, under the '' Act 
to establish certain post routes," approved August 14, 1848, " to 
make arrangements for the establishment of post offices, and for 
the transmission, receipt and conveyance of letters in Oregon and 
California." 

The President congratulates the citizens of California on 
the annexation of their fine province to the United States. On 
the 30th of May, 1848, the day on which the ratifications of our 
late treaty with Mexico were exchanged, California finally became 
an integral portion of this great and glorious Republic; and the 
Act of Congress to which I have already referred, in express 
terms recognises it to be '' within the territory of the United 
States." 

May this Union be perpetual ! 

The people of California may feel the firmest conviction, 
that the Government and people of the United States will never 
abandon them, or prove unmindful of their prosperity. Their 
fate and their fortunes are now indissolubly united with that of 
their brethren on this side of the Rocky Mountains. How pro- 
pitious this event both for them and for us! Whilst the other 
nations of the world are distracted by domestic dissensions, and 
are involved in a struggle between the privileges of the few and 



^MSS. Department of State, 37 Domestic Letters, 42; S. Ex. Doc. 18, 
31 Cong. I Sess. 6; H. Ex. Doc. i, 30 Cong. 2 Sess. 47; H. Ex. Doc. 17, 
31 Cong. I Sess. 6. 



212 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

the rights of the many, Heaven has blessed our happy land with 
a Government which secures equal rights to all our citizens, and 
has produced peace, happiness and contentment throughout our 
borders. It has combined liberty with order, and all the sacred 
and indefeasible rights of the citizen with the strictest observance 
of law. Satisfied with the institutions under which we live, each 
individual is therefore left free to promote his own prosperity 
and happiness in the manner most in accordance with his own 
judgment. 

Under such a Constitution and such laws, the prospects of 
California are truly encouraging. Blessed with a mild and salu- 
brious climate, and a fertile soil — rich in mineral resources — and 
extending over nearly ten degrees of latitude along the coast of 
the Pacific, with some of the finest harbors in the world, the 
imagination can scarcely fix a limit to its future wealth and 
prosperity. 

We can behold, in the not distant future, one or more 
glorious states of this confederacy springing into existence in 
California, governed by institutions similar to our own, and 
extending the blessings of religion, liberty and law over that vast 
region. Their free and unrestricted commerce and intercourse 
with the other states of the Union will confer mutual benefits 
and blessings on all parties concerned, and will bind us all together 
by the strongest ties of reciprocal affection and interest. Their 
foreign trade with the west coast of America, with Asia and the 
Isles of the Pacific, will be protected by our common flag, and 
cannot fail to bear back to their shores the rich rewards of enter- 
prise and industry. 

After all, however, the speedy realization of these bright 
prospects depends much upon the wise and prudent conduct of 
the citizens of California in the present emergency. If they 
commence their career under proper auspices, their advance will 
be rapid and certain; but should they become entangled in difii- 
culties and dissensions at the start, their progress will be greatly 
retarded. 

The President deeply regrets that Congress did not, at their 
late session, establish a territorial government for California. 
It would now be vain to enter into the reasons for this omission. 
Whatever these may have been, he is firmly convinced that 
Congress feel a deep interest in the welfare of California and its 
people, and will, at an early period of the next session, provide 
for them a territorial government suited to their wants. Our 



1848] TO MR. VOORHIES 213 

laws relating to trade and intercourse with the Indians will then 
be extended over them; Custom Houses will be established for 
the collection of the revenue; and liberal grants of land will be 
made to those bold and patriotic citizens who, amidst privations 
and dangers, have emigrated or shall emigrate to that territory 
from the states on this side of the Rocky Mountains. 

The President, in his annual message at the commencement 
of the next session, will recommend all these great measures to 
Congress, in the strongest terms, and will use every effort, con- 
sistently with his duty, to ensure their accomplishment. 

In the mean time, the condition of the people of California is 
anomalous, and will require on their part the exercise of great 
prudence and discretion. By the conclusion of the Treaty of 
Peace, the military Government which was established over them, 
under the laws of war as recognized by the practice of all civilized 
nations, has ceased to derive its authority from this source of 
power. But is there, for this reason, no Government in Cali- 
fornia? Are life, liberty, and property under the protection of no 
existing authorities? This would be a singular phenomenon in 
the face of the world, and especially among American citizens, 
distinguished as they are above all other people for their law 
abiding character. Fortunately they are not reduced to this sad 
condition. The termination of the war left an existing Govern- 
ment, a Government de facto, in full operation; and this will 
continue with the presumed consent of the people, until Congress 
shall provide for them a territorial Government. The great law 
of necessity justifies this conclusion. The consent of the people 
is irresistibly inferred from the fact that no civilized community 
could possibly desire to abrogate an existing Government, when 
the alternative presented would be to place themselves in a state 
of anarchy, beyond the protection of all laws, and reduce them 
to the unhappy necessity of submitting to the dominion of the 
strongest. 

This Government de facto will, of course, exercise no power 
inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution of the United 
States, which is the supreme law of the land. For this reason no 
import duties can be levied in California on articles the growth, 
produce or manufacture of the United States, as no such duties 
can be imposed in any other part of our Union on the productions 
of California. Nor can new duties be charged in California upon 
such foreign productions as have already paid duties in any of our 
ports of entry, for the obvious reason that California is within 



214 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

the territory of the United States. I shall not enlarge upon this 
subject, however, as the Secretary of the Treasury will perform 
that duty. 

The President urgently advises the people of California to 
live peaceably and quietly under the existing Government. He 
believes that this will promote their lasting and best interests. 
If it be not what they could desire and had a right to expect, they 
can console themselves with the reflection, that it will endure but 
for a few months. Should they attempt to change or amend it 
during this brief period, they most probably could not accomplish 
their object before the Government established by Congress would 
go into operation. In the mean time the country would be agi- 
tated, the citizens would be withdrawn from their usual employ- 
ments, and domestic strife might divide and exasperate the 
people against each other ; and this all to establish a Government 
which in no conceivable contingency could endure for a single 
year. During this brief period it is better to bear the ills they 
have, than to fly to others they know not of. 

The pemianent prosperity of any new country is identified 
with the perfect security of its land titles. The land system of 
the general Government has been a theme of admiration through- 
out the world. The wisdom of man has never devised a plan 
so well calculated to prevent litigation and place the rights of 
owners of the soil beyond dispute. This system has been one 
great cause of the rapid settlement and progress of our new 
states and territories. Emigrants have been attracted there, 
because every man knew that when he had acquired land from the 
Government he could sit under his own vine and under his own 
fig tree and there would be none to make him afraid. Indeed 
there can be no greater drawback to the prosperity of a country, 
as several of the older states have experienced, than disputed land 
titles. Prudent men will be deterred from emigrating to a state 
or territory where they cannot obtain indisputable title and must 
consequently be exposed to the danger of strife and litigation in 
respect to the soil on which they dwell. An uncertainty respect- 
ing the security of land titles arrests all valuable improvement, 
because no prudent man will expend his means for this purpose, 
whilst there is danger that another may deprive him of the fruit 
of his labors. It is fortunate, therefore, that Congress alone, 
under the Constitution, possesses "the power to dispose of and 
make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or 
other property belonging to the United States." In the exercise 



1848] TO MR. VOORHIES 215 

of this power, the President is convinced that the emigrants will 
receive liberal donations of the public land. 

Although Congress have not established a territorial Govern- 
ment for the people of California, they have not been altogether 
unmindful of their interests. The benefit of our post office laws 
has been extended to them ; and you will bear with you authority 
from the Postmaster General to provide for the conveyance of 
public information and private correspondence among themselves, 
and between them and the citizens of Oregon and of our States 
east of the Rocky Mountains. The monthly steamers on the 
line from Panama to Astoria have been required " to stop and 
deliver and take mails at San Diego, San Francisco and Mon- 
terey." These steamers, connected by the Isthmus of Panama 
with those on the Atlantic between New York and Chagres, will 
keep up a regular communication with California and afford 
facilities to all those who may desire to emigrate to that territory. 

The necessary appropriations have also been made by Con- 
gress to maintain troops in California to protect its inhabitants 
against all attacks from a civilized or savage foe; and it will 
afford the President peculiar pleasure to perform this duty 
promptly and effectively. 

But above all, the Constitution of the United States, the 
safeguard of all our civil rights, was extended over California on 
the 30th May, 1848, the day on which our late Treaty with 
Mexico was finally consummated. From that day its inhabitants 
became entitled to all the blessings and benefits resulting from 
the best form of civil government ever established amongst men. 
That they will prove worthy of this inestimable boon, no doubt 
is entertained. 

Whilst the population of California will be composed chiefly 
of our own kindred, or a people speaking our own language and 
educated for self-government under our own institutions, a con- 
siderable portion of them were Mexican citizens before the late 
Treaty of Peace. These, our new citizens, ought to be, and from 
the justice and generosity of the American character the Presi- 
dent is confident that they will be, treated with respect and kind- 
ness, and thus be made to feel that by changing their allegiance 
they have become more prosperous and happy. 
Yours, very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 
William V. Voorhies, Esq., 
Washington city. 



216 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO MR. CLIFFORD/ 

(No. 7.) Department of State, 

Washington, loth October, 1848. 
To Nathan Clifford, Esquire, 

&c. &c. &c. 
Sir: 

Your despatches to No. 29, inclusive, have been received. 
Your efforts to obtain redress from the Mexican Government for 
the outrage committed upon E. Porter, Esquire, the American 
Consul at Tabasco, are approved, and I trust they may be suc- 
cessful. The note of Mr. Otero of the 4th ultimo addressed to 
yourself is conceived in the proper spirit. 

I am gratified to learn that the Mexican Government have 
rescinded the decree confining *' the sale and consumption of 
tobacco introduced into the Mexican ports during the military 
occupation of the same by our Government, to the limits of said 
ports," and that they have executed the Treaty by removing all 
restrictions from the sale of this article. 

The President is, also, pleased to know that the President 
of Mexico has nominated to the Senate the distinguished citizen 
Sefior Luis de la Rosa as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister 
Plenipotentiary to the United States. I trust he may accompany 
you when you make your visit home. The President will receive 
him with cordiality and kindness, being anxious to cultivate the 
most friendly and intimate relations with Mexico. 

I enclose you a copy of a Circular addressed by this Depart- 
ment on the 30th August, last, to the District Attorneys of the 
United States, in relation to the alleged project said to be enter- 
tained by certain American citizens, of revolutionizing the 
Northern States of Mexico and establishing the so called Republic 
of the Sierra Madre. From the answers to this Circular and from 
other sources of information, I think I may venture to assure you 
that the design, if it ever existed, has exploded. The vigorous 
and successful efforts which we have made to defeat this expedi- 
tion are the strongest evidence of our desire to execute the late 
Treaty in good faith. As these efforts cannot fail to be justly 
appreciated by the Mexican Government, it is proper that you 
should communicate the facts to the Minister for Foreign 
Affairs. 



^MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Mexico, XVL 113. 



1848] TO MR. HARRIS 217 

The proposition communicated in your despatch No. 23, 
*' to open negotiations for an arrangement by which the Mexican 
Government may be enabled to reaHze the next two instalments 
under the Treaty of Peace before the time when they will fall 
due by the terms of the Treaty," has been submitted to the Presi- 
dent. You are aware that in order to accomplish this object, 
there must be a new Treaty requiring the ratification of the 
Senate, and the money must afterwards be appropriated by 
Congress. To state these simple facts, is to present serious 
obstacles to such a Treaty. As both you and, I trust, Mr. Rosa 
will be in Washington before the meeting of the Senate, the 
President defers any positive decision upon the subject until after 
your arrival. In the mean time, he has been deeply impressed 
by your despatch, and is disposed to do all that is practicable to 
accommodate the Mexican Government. 

I have had but a very brief period to prepare this despatch, 
otherwise, I should have enlarged on the subjects presented in it. 
Yours, very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 

P. S. As it does not appear from your despatches that you 
have received the instruction from the Department No. 4, of the 
15th August, last, a duplicate thereof is enclosed. 



TO MR. HARRIS.^ 



No. 15. Department of State, 

Washington, 10 October, 1848. 
To William A. Harris, Esquire, 

etc., etc., etc. 
Sir: 

Your despatches to No. 27, inclusive, have been received. 
It is to be hoped that the raising of the blockade of the ports 
of Buenos Ayres by the naval forces of France will speedily lead 
to a restoration of the foreign trade there and to financial and 
general prosperity. Should this prove to be the case, we shall 
have reason to expect that the Buenos Ayrean Government will 
favorably receive your applications upon the subject of claims of 
citizens of the United States. The claimants are impatient at 
the long delay which has taken place in considering and deciding 



* MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Argentine Republic, XV. 36. 



218 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

their cases, and frequently request the Department to address new 
instructions to you in regard to them. Mr. Willett Coles, the 
agent for the claimants in the case of the ship Hope, seems to be 
particularly anxious. Although the Department is sure that you 
would omit no proper opportunity to invoke the justice of the 
Buenos Ayrean Government in behalf of all the claimants, this 
despatch is addressed to you at the instance of Mr. Coles, who 
appears to suppose that it might tend to hasten an adjustment of 
the claim which he represents. 
I am, Sir, very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. DABELSTEEN.^ 

Department of State, 
Washington, nth October, 1848. 
To Senor Don O. L. Dabelsteen, 

New Orleans. 
Sir: 

Your letter without date enclosing your Commission as Vice 
Consul of the Mexican Republic for the Port of New Orleans, 
and also a communication to this Department from the Minister 
for Foreign Affairs of that Republic, has been received. In com- 
pliance with your request, the President's Exequatur recognizing 
you in that character is herewith transmitted and your Commis- 
sion is returned. I would suggest that, as the latter is without 
the official seal, it would be advisable for you to send it back to 
the Mexican Foreign Office for the purpose of having the omis- 
sion supplied. Otherwise, citizens of that Republic with whom 
you may have occasion to transact Consular business might ques- 
tion the validity of the Commission. 
I am. Sir, very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



MSS. Department of State, Notes to Mexican Legation, VI. 192. 



1848] TO MR. DAVEZAC 219 

TO MR. DAVEZAC.^ 

(No. 15.) Department of State, 

Washington, 12th Octr., 1848. 
Auguste Davezac, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

I deem it to be my duty again to address you on the subject 
of Mr. Seely's claim against the Dutch Government. This is not 
now done to enforce its justice, although I deem it to be emi- 
nently just; but to instruct you to reiterate your request for an 
answer from the Minister for Foreign Affairs to your note of 
the 29th November last. 

It is now nearly a year since the date of that note, and yet 
it still remains unanswered! Throughout my experience in this 
Department, no such want of courtesy to this Government has 
ever been manifested by any foreign Government. For my own 
part, I should consider myself highly censurable were I to 
pursue a similar course in regard to any note addressed to this 
Department by the Charge d' Affaires of the Netherlands; and 
more especially if it had been written by the express command of 
his Government. 

Upon the receipt of this despatch, you will therefore address 
a note to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, urging him, in firm 
but respectful language, to answer your note of the 29th Novem- 
ber last. Should he refuse to give you an answer, or, what is 
substantially the same, neglect to do so within a reasonable time, 
you will then report the fact to this Department. 

I pursue this course upon the suggestion of Mr. Seely, who 
has just reason to complain that the representative of his Govern- 
ment at the Hague has not been able to obtain an answer to his 
able and judicious note written nearly a year ago. 

Mr. Seely has just cause for his impatience; and I shall 
expect to hear from you promptly on this subject. 

I am. Sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 

P. S. — Your despatches to No. 48, inclusive, together with 
your despatch of the 17th September last, which is not numbered, 
have been duly received at this Department. 



'MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Netherlands, XIV. 84. 



220 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO MR. FLENNIKEN/ 

(No. 7.) Department of State, 

Washington, 14th October, 1848. 

Sir: From your despatch No. 45, of the 8th September, as 
well as from your private letter, I am happy to learn that there 
is now a reasonable prospect that our commerce may be relieved 
from the '' sound dues " paid to Denmark. The admission of the 
Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs, in conversation with you, 
'' that he cannot defend the principle upon which these dues are 
exacted," is certainly a favorable indication. 

You acted properly in not pressing the question, whilst 
Denmark was engaged in hostilities with Germany; but as the 
armistice concluded between the King of Prussia and his Danish 
Majesty has now been finally ratified at Frankfort, I agree with 
you " that the present may, perhaps, be an auspicious period to 
introduce this question formally and with determination to the 
Danish Government." 

Under the public law of nations, it cannot be pretended that 
Denmark has any right to levy duties on vessels passing through 
the Sound from the North Sea to the Baltic. Under that law, 
the navigation of the two seas connected by this Strait is free 
to all nations; and therefore the navigation of the channel by 
which they are connected ought, also, to be free. In the language 
employed by Mr. Wheaton, '' Even if such strait be bounded on 
both sides by the territory of the same Sovereign, and is, at the 
same time, so narrow as to be commanded by cannon-shot from 
both shores, the exclusive territorial jurisdiction of that Sovereign 
over such strait is controlled by the right of other nations to com- 
municate with the seas thus connected." But the Sound is not 
bounded on both its shores by Danish territory, nor has it been 
since the Treaty of Roeskild, in 1658, by which all the Danish 
provinces beyond the Sound were ceded to Sweden. So that 
even this pretext for levying the Sound dues has ceased to exist 
for nearly two centuries. 

It is true that for several centuries Denmark has continued 
to levy these dues ; and she now claims this as a right " upon 
immemorial prescription, sanctioned by a long succession of 
Treaties with Foreign powers." But the foundations of this 



^MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Denmark, XIV. 59; H, Ex. 
Doc. 108, 2Z Cong, i Sess. 38. 



1848] TO MR. FLENNIKEN 221 

claim were laid in a remote and barbarous age, even before the 
discovery of America; and the reasons which are now alleged 
in its support have no application whatever to the United States. 
They apply exclusively to the nations of Europe. 

It may be said, that the Fifth Article of our Treaty with 
Denmark of the 26th April, 1826, gives an indirect sanction to 
this practice, by providing that " Neither the vessels of the United 
States nor their cargoes shall, when they pass the Sound or the 
Belts, pay higher or other duties than those which are or may be 
paid by the most favored nation." But this article does not recog- 
nise the right of Denmark to levy these duties. It is a mere 
submission to the practice for a period of ten years; and the 
Government of the United States may now, at any moment, give 
the notice required by the Treaty, and thus terminate it at the 
end of one year. 

These duties are both vexatious and onerous to our naviga- 
tion. The loss of time and delay of our vessels at Cronberg 
Castle, whilst the duties are assessed and paid, constitute a 
serious annoyance and injury to our commerce. Besides, the 
amount of duties is so great as to be a heavy burden upon our 
trade to the Baltic. Your predecessor, Mr. Irwin, in a despatch 
under date of the 3rd June, 1847, No. 121, to which I refer you, 
has furnished the Department with tabular statements of the 
amount of these duties exacted from American vessels for a 
period of sixteen years, from 1828 to 1843, both inclusive; from 
which it appears, that the average for each year would amount to 
$107,467.71. According to these statements, the average tonnage 
of our vessels going through the Sound, during these years, was 
21,415, and that returning was 21,108 tons. This sum would, 
therefore, be about equal to an average tonnage duty upon each 
vessel, for passing and re-passing the Sound, of five dollars per 
ton, including both voyages. Besides, there are other charges 
for light-money, fees, &c. This large tax is paid by vessels of 
the United States for liberty to pass through a Strait between two 
seas, which, by the law of nature and of nations, is free and open 
to all mankind ! The United States have thus long submitted to 
the exaction from deference and respect for Denmark; but it 
cannot be expected, great as is our regard for that ancient and 
respectable power, that we shall submit to it much longer. 

The nth Article of our existing Treaty with Denmark pro- 
vides " that the present Convention shall be in force for ten years 
from the date hereof, (26th April, 1826,) and further, until the 



222 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

end of one year after either of the contracting parties shall have 
given notice to the other of its intention to terminate the same." 
Congress may, therefore, at any moment, authorise the Presi- 
dent to terminate this Convention, — a Convention, I venture to 
say, more favorable in its terms to the commerce and navigation 
of Denmark than any which now exists or has existed between 
her and any other nation. 

Perfect reciprocity, in the direct trade, between any two 
countries, is always just. The vessels of both, carrying the pro- 
ductions of either between the ports of these countries, ought to 
be placed upon the same footing. Be the amount of this trade 
great or small, they ought equally to participate in its benefits. 
This rule, however, is based upon the presumption that the one 
party shall not, on its part, have restricted the mutual trade by 
establishing unreasonable and extravagant import duties upon 
the productions of the other. Whilst this rule is just in regard to 
the direct trade between any two countries, let us examine the 
question for a few moments in regard to the indirect or triangular 
trade between Denmark and the United States. Our Convention 
with Denmark opens to her navigation not only the direct trade, 
but it enables her vessels to go all over the world, and bring the 
productions of every clime to this country upon the same terms 
with American vessels. But it may be said that similar advan- 
tages are secured by the same Convention to vessels of the United 
States in the ports of Denmark. Whilst this cannot be denied, 
it is yet manifest that such a concession to our vessels is far, very 
far, from being a fair equivalent for the privileges which Danish 
vessels enjoy in our ports. The United States now extend across 
the whole Continent of North America, and have a front of 
Twenty-two degrees of Latitude upon the Atlantic, and Seventeen 
degrees upon the Pacific Ocean. On both oceans, we have 
numerous and excellent harbors inviting foreign trade. We now 
number at least twenty millions of industrious and prosperous 
people, able and willing to pay for foreign commodities, whilst 
our exports are immense. The vessels of Denmark enjoy the 
privilege, under the Convention, of transporting from all other 
foreign countries to the United States every article required for 
the consumption of our population, and of exporting from the 
United States to all foreign countries our productions, upon the 
same terms with our own vessels. 

Now what is the supposed equivalent? Denmark is com- 
paratively a small and poor country, in a high and severe northern 



1848] TO MR. FLENNIKEN 223 

Latitude. Its population does not much exceed two millions. 
Its exports are not great, and its people consume comparatively 
but a small amount of foreign productions. American vessels 
may, it is true, under the Convention, transport to and from 
Denmark the productions of third countries, upon the same terms 
with Danish vessels; and this is the compensation which we 
receive for all the superior advantages which we confer. It would 
perhaps not be extravagant to assert, although I have not made 
the calculation, that, under the present Convention, we offer to 
Denmark ten times the quantity of productions for the employ- 
ment of her navigation in the indirect or triangular carrying 
trade, which she can offer to the navigation of the United States. 
The truth is, that so far as regards this trade, the reciprocity of 
the Convention is but a mere name. 

But to make the inequality still greater, the Sixth Article of 
the Convention excepts from its provisions Iceland, the Ferroe 
Islands, Greenland, and her Colonial possessions beyond the Cape 
of Good Hope. 

It is not my purpose to enumerate the immense advantages, 
present and prospective, which Denmark enjoys under the Con- 
vention, in the encouragement of her commercial and military 
marine, and in the promotion of her national wealth and 
prosperity. 

It is certain that we shall, hereafter, conclude no such une- 
qual Treaties with Foreign Powers like Denmark, without equiva- 
lents to the United States to compensate, in some degree, for the 
superior advantages which we may grant over those which we 
receive. The late Treaty with Hanover, (of which I transmit you 
a copy with the accompanying correspondence sent to the Senate, ) 
was the commencement of a new era in our commercial policy. 
This will sufficiently explain itself, without any observations on 
my part. Under its provisions, you will perceive that we have 
obtained equivalents for the advantages which we have conferred. 

It will be admitted by all, that the commercial marine of 
Denmark is much more capable than that of Hanover of availing 
itself of these advantages, and of becoming successful competi- 
tors with us in the indirect trade. Why, then, should not Den- 
mark grant us, also, fair equivalents for these advantages? We 
desire to accept as an equivalent from Denmark the abrogation 
of the Sound and Belt dues, rather than assert our rights against 
her under the Law of Nations. Let Denmark perform this act 
of justice, and the President is willing that you shall conclude a 



224 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

new commercial Treaty with the Danish Government, upon the 
same terms with the present Convention, to continue for a period 
of ten or twelve years, reserving the usual right to either of the 
parties to terminate it at the end of this period by giving a year's 
notice. 

Instead of the Fifth Article of the present Convention, some- 
thing like the following might be inserted in the new Treaty : 

Article 5. Vessels of the United States in passing and 
repassing the Sound and the Belts, shall be forever exempt from 
the payment of any duties, either upon their tonnage or their 
cargoes. 

Light-money, and other reasonable charges now existing, if 
disconnected from charges or fees for levying and collecting the 
Sound and Belt dues, may still be continued. Of these, you will 
be the best judge. 

It would be desirable that the proposed Fifth Article should 
be expressly excepted from the operation of any notice which 
may be given by either party to terminate the new Treaty, and be 
thus rendered perpetual. Upon this, however, you are not to 
insist as a sine qua non; because if the Sound dues should be sus- 
pended for a period of ten or twelve years, it is highly improbable 
that they can ever afterwards be revived. 

But the President is willing to proceed still further, if the 
object cannot otherwise be accomplished. It is probable that two 
years might elapse before the existing Convention could be ter- 
minated, as an Act must first pass Congress to enable the Presi- 
dent to give the required notice; after which a year must expire 
before it could be rendered effectual. During the whole period 
our vessels would be subject to the Sound dues under the present 
Convention. For this reason, if you should find it indispensable 
to success, but not otherwise, you may stipulate to pay the Gov- 
ernment of Denmark a sum not exceeding $250,000; but, in that 
event, the abrogation of the Sound and Belt dues must be made 
perpetual, and must be excluded, in express terms, from any 
notice which may hereafter be given by either party to terminate 
the Treaty. 

From the enclosed tables, which I have just received from 
the Treasury Department, you will perceive how very inconsid- 
erable our direct trade is with Denmark, in Europe ; whilst in the 
year 1847, 44 Danish vessels entered our ports, all of which, with 
three exceptions, arrived from other portions of the world and 
were engaged in the triangular or indirect trade. It is, also, 



1848] TO MR. BILLE 225 

worthy of remark, that since the Tariff of 1846, the Danish 
tonnage employed in this trade, for 1847, has nearly doubled. 

For highly important information on the subject of these 
dues, I refer you to Macgregor's Commercial Regulations, vol. 
I, chapter 3, Title Denmark. Or the same Author's Commercial 
Statistics, vol. i, page 165. 

If you could procure from the Danish Government the aboli- 
tion of its transit duties on American productions in the Duchies, 
and wherever else they may exist, this would be very desirable; 
and for this purpose, you can use our Treaty with Hanover to 
great advantage. 

I would thank you to complete Mr. Irwin's tables, up to the 
present time, and transmit copies to the Department. 

Should it become expedient to address a note to the Danish 
Minister for Foreign Affairs, on the subject of the Sound dues, 
you may quote such portions of this despatch as you may, in your 
discretion, deem appropriate and useful. But this is left entirely 
to your own judgment. 

You are now intrusted by the President with a most impor- 
tant negotiation. Should you prove successful, this will reflect 
high honor upon yourself and promote the best interests of your 
country. May success attend you ! 

I am. Sir, respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 
Robert P. Flenniken, Esqre., 
&c., &c., &c., Copenhagen. 



TO MR. BILLE.^ 



Department of State, 
Washington, i6th October, 1848. 
Mr. Steen Bille, 

&c. &c. Denmark. 
Sir: 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of 
the 14th instant, enclosing a protest of Captain C. Ipland, of the 
Danish Brig Adeline, which has been libelled in Boston, to answer 
in damages for an alleged breach of Patent right, by the Inventor, 
Mr. John Brown, and asking the intervention of this Government. 



^ MSS. Department of State, Notes to Danish Legation, VI. 23. 
Vol. VIII— 15 



226 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

In reply, I beg leave to inform you that as the question has 
been regularly brought before the Circuit Court of the United 
States in Massachusetts, where it is to undergo judicial investi- 
gation, the Executive Branch of the Government possesses no 
power to interfere with the proceedings in the case. Justice, 
according to law, must be administered by the appropriate Judicial 
Tribunals. 

I am. Sir, with great consideration. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. BANCROFT.^ 

No. 41. Department of State, 

Washington, 23d Octr., 1848. 
George Bancroft, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

Your despatches to No. 92, inclusive, have been duly received 
at this Department. 

Mr. Joaquin de Osma, late Envoy Extraordinary and Min- 
ister Plenipotentiary from Peru to the United States, passed 
through this city a few days ago, on his way from Lima to London 
to represent his country in the same character in Great Britain. 
My official and personal intercourse with that gentleman was 
highly satisfactory throughout his mission. He is an able and 
estimable man ; and his principles and feelings are all opposed to 
any interference on the part of Great Britain or other European 
nations with the domestic concerns of the Spanish American 
Republics on this continent. 

Mr. Osma informed me, in conversation, that Senor Castro, 
Governor of Costa Rica, as he had been credibly informed, had 
offered to place that State under the protection of the British 
Government. He will himself communicate the details to you. 
You will perceive from the enclosed extract from the instructions 
given by this Department to Mr. Hise, our Charge d'Affaires to 
Guatemala, in what light the President would view the conduct of 
that Government, should they accept this offer. Although, for 



'MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Great Britain, XV. 368. The 
first two paragraphs of this instruction are printed in H. Ex. Doc. 75, 31 
Cong. I Sess. 221 ; the second two, in H. Ex. Doc. 19, 30 Cong. 2 Sess. 24. 



1848] TO MR. MACAULEY 227 

the present, I am not prepared to give you any positive instructions 
on the subject, yet, nevertheless, you will be vigilant in ascertain- 
ing v^hether the information of Mr. Osma be well founded, and, 
should this prove to be the case, in preventing, unofficially and 
by conversation, in the proper quarter, the acceptance by Great 
Britain of the proffered protectorate.^ 

I have this moment received your despatch No. 92, and have 
only time before the closing of the mail to say a few words in 
relation to it. 

Treason cannot be committed by a citizen of the United 
States against a foreign Government ; and we are bound by every 
principle of public faith and national honor to maintain this doc- 
trine as firmly in favor of our naturalized as our native citizens. I 
should trust that the British Government are not prepared, by the 
trial of Mr. Richard Ryan for treason, to precipitate a question 
which must produce such a tremendous excitement throughout 
our country, especially when this can be so easily avoided. If 
Ryan has violated the laws of Great Britain within her dominions, 
he can be tried and punished for an offence of a different 
denomination. 

Yours, very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. MACAULEY.^ 

No. 2. Department of State, 

Washington, 25th October, 1848. 
Daniel S. Macauley, Esqre., 

etc., etc., Alexandria, Egypt. 
Sir: — 

I wrote to you on the 23rd instant, informing you of the 
causes which had delayed the transmission of your commission 
and instructions, as Consul-General of the United States for 
Egypt. It is presumed that letter, numbered i, will have reached 
you before the arrival of the Frigate Constitution, which bears 
this despatch, and whose Commander has been ordered to convey 
you to Alexandria. 



^Here follows a passage relating to the auditing of Mr. Bancroft's 
accounts. 

'MSS, Department of State, Instructions, Barbary Powers, XIV. 72. 



228 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

Your salary as Consul at Tripoli will cease on the 31st 
instant, and that as Consul-General to Egypt, at the rate of 
$3000 per annum, will commence on the next day. A Letter of 
Credit on the Bankers of the United States in London, author- 
izing them to pay your salary, and the expenses of the Consulate, 
is herewith transmitted. 

There is an existing appropriation of $500 per annum for 
the pay of Interpreters and guards, and for other expenses of each 
of the Consulates at Constantinople, Smyrna, and Alexandria. 
The amount appropriated for the latter Consulate will be subject 
to your draft on that account. But, as the expenses incident to a 
Consulate General will probably exceed those of the former Con- 
sular grade at Alexandria, the Bankers will be instructed to pay 
your drafts, for expenses, to the further amount of $500 per 
annum. 

You will, in your drafts on the Bankers, designate, par- 
ticularly, the account for which they may be drawn, — whether for 
salary, for Interpreter, Guards, etc., etc., or for other contingent 
expenses. 

Before quitting Tripoli, you will make and transmit hither 
an Inventory of the property and archives of the Consulate, and 
cause them to be deposited in the custody of some trustworthy 
person. You will take care to make such explanations to the 
authorities at Tripoli as will satisfy them on the subject of your 
departure; and you may assure them that the President will 
speedily appoint your successor. In the meantime, you will see 
that the affairs of the Consulate are left in proper hands, and 
inform the Department whom you shall have appointed to take 
charge of them. 

You are now furnished with a Letter of Credence to the 
Pacha of Egypt, which will be presented by you in the usual 
form; and you will avail yourself of the occasion to inform His 
Highness of the friendly disposition of the President, and of his 
earnest desire to cultivate and to perpetuate the most amicable 
relations between the United States and His Pachalic. 

For the use of your Consulate, I have ordered a series of the 
books and documents, (usually transmitted to new Legations,) 
sent to you; of which a List is, herewith, enclosed. 

You will lose no time in transmitting to the Department a 
satisfactory official Bond ; of which a blank form is enclosed, and 
respecting which I need give you no special instructions. 

A copy of the Consular Instructions is, also, sent to you. 



1848] TO MR. MACAULEY 229 

I transmit, herewith, a printed copy of the " Personal In- 
structions," (with a Supplement,) prescribed by the Department 
of State for the Government of the Diplomatic Agents of the 
United States in Foreign Countries; and call your special atten- 
tion to those portions which are applicable as directions to guide 
your official conduct. 

Your mission, both Consular and political, is one of great 
importance ; and you have been selected for the station on account 
of your long experience at Tripoli, and the acceptable manner in 
which you have performed your duties there. We have, hereto- 
fore, had no direct Diplomatic relations with the Pacha of 
Egypt, and but very little commercial intercourse with his domin- 
ions. But, nominally dependent upon the Porte, Egypt has 
become, in point of fact, an Independent Power; and it is of 
great importance that we should cultivate the most friendly 
political relations with the Pacha. But few persons can be better 
qualified than yourself to accomplish this object, considering 
your long residence on the Coast of Barbary, and your acquaint- 
ance with the manners and customs of the people. 

Another principal object of your mission will be, to extend 
and foster the commercial intercourse between the United States 
and Egypt. For this purpose you will obtain all the commercial 
and statistical information concerning that country which you 
can acquire, and communicate it to the Department, together 
with such suggestions, from time to time, as you may deem 
important for the accomplishment of this object. The subsisting 
relation between the Government of Egypt and the Porte is, also, 
an object of much interest. Indeed, you are instructed to exercise 
the utmost vigilance in all which regards the interests of your 
country, and communicate in detail your observations to the 
Department. I shall await with much interest the account of 
your reception by the Pacha. 

I am, Sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



230 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO MR. BANCROFT/ 

(No. 42.) Department of State, 

Washington, 28th Octr., 1848. 
George Bancroft, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

Your despatch, No. 93, has this moment been received, and 
will be communicated to the Postmaster General. 

Upon consultation with the President and the Attorney Gen- 
eral, then acting Secretary of State, they say that it was not 
intended, by the despatch to you of the 4th September last, to 
pledge this Government, as you have inferred, to engage counsel 
at the public expense to defend American citizens who have been 
arrested in Ireland under a charge of sedition and treason. — The 
language employed was, that, " in such cases, it will be the right 
and the duty of the Government to see that the persons arrested 
have the full benefit of a legal defence," not that the Government 
itself should undertake, at its own charge, to conduct this defence. 
Without an act of Congress appropriating money for this pur- 
pose, there would be no fund under the control of the Department 
from which the expense of such trials could be drawn. 

Mr. Richard F. Ryan obtained a passport, in the usual form, 
from this Department on the 17th May last, upon the production 
of his certificate of naturalization. He stands, therefore, pre- 
cisely upon the same footing as though he had been born within 
the United States. I find, however, that I was too hasty in stat- 
ing, as I have done in my last despatch, that treason could not 
be committed by a citizen of the United States against a foreign 
Government. 

Blackstone, in his Commentaries, vol. L, page 369, says that 
allegiance is distinguished by law '' into two sorts or species, the 
one natural, the other local ; the former being also perpetual, the 
latter temporary." Again : " Local allegiance is such as is due 
from an alien or stranger born, for so long as he continues within 
the King's dominions and protection; and it ceases the instant 
such stranger transfers himself from his kingdom to another." 

According to British law and practice, therefore, aliens guilty 
of treasonable acts, whilst residing in England, are tried and 



*MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Great Britain, XV. 370. This 
entire instruction, except the first two paragraphs, was printed in H. Ex. 
Doc. 19, 30 Cong. 2 Sess. 25. 



1848] TO MR. BANCROFT 231 

punished for high treason. Vide I. East's Crown Law, page 52, 
IV. Blackstone's Commentaries, page 74. Vide, also, I. East's 
Crown Law, page 115, in regard to the form of an indictment for 
high treason. I take it, also, that, even in this country, a foreigner 
whilst enjoying the protection of our laws, and consequently 
owing temporary allegiance to our Government, might, during 
this period, commit treason against the United States, " in levy- 
ing war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving 
them aid and comfort." Indeed, this seems to have been taken 
for granted by Chief Justice Marshall, in delivering the opinion 
of the Court in the case of the United States v. Wiltberger, 5th 
Wheaton, 97, when he says that ^' treason is a breach of allegi- 
ance, and can be committed by him only who owes allegiance, 
either perpetual or temporary. The words, therefore, owing 
allegiance to the United States, in the first section [of the Act 
for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States, 
approved April 30th, 1790,] are entirely surplus words, which 
do not, in the slightest degree, affect its sense. The construction 
would be precisely the same were they omitted." 

Sad indeed might be our condition should numerous emi- 
grants hereafter arrive in our country, in times of difficulty and 
danger, possessing a different spirit towards our institutions from 
that with which they have been heretofore animated, if none but 
citizens of the United States could commit the crime of treason. 

It may also be observed, that the words employed in the first 
section of the act to which I have referred, are, " any person or 
persons," not any citizen or citizens of the United States, 
&c., &c., &c. 

I have deemed it proper to make these suggestions, in order 
to correct a mistake into which we have both fallen. 

The President has been highly gratified with your efforts 
in favor of our unfortunate citizens who have been arrested in 
Ireland, charged with sedition and treason against the British 
Government, and feels confident that you will continue to aid 
them by every means proper to be employed by an American 
Minister, under such circumstances. I need scarcely add, that 
whenever the occasion may require it, you will resist the British 
doctrine of perpetual allegiance, and maintain the American prin- 
ciple, that British native born subjects, after they have been 
naturalized under our laws, are, to all intents and purposes, as 
much American citizens, and entitled to the same degree of pro- 
tection, as though they had been born in the United States. 



232 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

I transmit herewith the explanation of Mr. Pleasonton which 
in my last despatch I promised to send. 

Yours, very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. DONELSON.^ 

(No. 21.) Department of State, 

Washington, 30th October, 1848. 
Andrew J. Donelson, Esqre., 

&c., &c., Frankfort. 
Sir: 

I wrote to you on the 28th ultimo, and have now to 
acknowledge the receipt of your despatches from 3 to 9 inclusive, 
and your private letter of the 25th ultimo. 

Your despatch No. 1 1, conveying the request of the Minister 
of Commerce of the Central Government of Germany, that 
this " Government may grant the favor to cause an officer of the 
American Navy, of a high station, who has already been in 
command of a man-of-war, and who is perfectly acquainted with 
the requisites of the Marine, ship-building, sea-ports, and Fortifi- 
cations, to enter the service of the Central Power of Germany, in 
order to assist in the organisation of the German Fleet with all 
proper requisites,'' was submitted on the day of its receipt, (the 
28th instant.) to the President. After consultation with the 
Cabinet, he has directed me to say, that he feels deeply sensible 
of the distinguished honor conferred upon our gallant Navy by 
this request, proceeding as it does from the Central Government 
of the great and enlightened German Nation. Ever ready and 
anxious to foster the friendship now so happily existing between 
the two countries and to promote the prosperity of the German 
Confederation in every manner consistently wath his public duty, 
he is willing to do all in his power to accomplish the object which 
they have in view. 

He does not believe, however, that it is competent for him, 
without the authority of Congress, to order one of our naval 
officers to enter the service of Germany. All that he can do, 
under the circumstances, would be, to communicate the invitation 
of the Central Government to one of our able and efficient naval 
Captains, and, upon his request, to grant him leave of absence for 



^MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Prussia, XIV. 134. 



1848] TO MR. DONELSON 233 

six or nine months; such grants being often made to our naval 
officers, for various reasons, to enable them to visit foreign 
Countries. During this period such officer might visit Frankfort 
and make his own arrangements with the Government of the 
Gemianic Confederation. Should these prove satisfactory, he 
might then either resign his commission in the navy of the United 
States and enter the German service exclusively, or he may apply 
to Congress, which will meet in less than forty days, for permis- 
sion to retain his rank in the American Navy whilst engaged in 
the service of Germany. Such permission w^ould, I think, be 
granted. As soon as the officer shall have been designated, I will 
write you again. 

You will have seen that your Address to the Arch-Duke 
John, and his reply, have been officially published; the latter in 
conformity with the corrected speech transmitted in your No. 5. 
Your remarks were entirely approved by the President and this 
Department; and the friendly observations of the Vicar, whilst 
they afforded real satisfaction to this Government, appear, also, 
to have been received by our citizens with general and well 
merited favor. 

I shall write to you by the next Steamer in regard to a Com- 
mercial Treaty with the Germanic Confederation. Considering 
that no Constitution has yet been adopted by the German Parlia- 
ment; that the respective rights of the Central and State Govern- 
ments have not yet been adjusted ; and that we have already com- 
mercial Treaties of the most liberal character with all the States 
of Germany which possess any sea-ports, the President believes it 
would now be premature to transmit you full powers and instruc- 
tions to conclude a Commercial Treaty with the Central Govern- 
ment. As at present advised, he will wait at least until that 
Government shall so far have undertaken the charge of the 
Foreign Affairs of Germany as to appoint a Minister to the 
United States. Indeed I expected that ere this we should have 
received notice of such an appointment. 

Mr. Fay's letters, from 4 to 11 inclusive, have also been 
received at the Department. 

I am, Sir, respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



234 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO MR. RANDOLPH/ 

Department of State, 
Washington, 30th October, 1848. 
Thomas Jefferson Randolph, Esq., 

Washington, D. C. 
Sir: 

I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this 
date, accompanied by " all the papers and manuscripts of the 
late Thomas Jefferson, both of a public and private nature," to 
be deposited in this Department pursuant to the Act of Congress 
approved 12th August last. The certificate which you request is 
herewith communicated. Your wish in regard to a return of 
such of the papers as are of a private character shall receive 
proper attention so far as this Department is concerned. 

I am. Sir, &c., 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. MARSTON.^ 

Dept. of State, 31 Oct. 1848. 
John M. Marston Esor. 

U. S. Consul, Palermo. 
Sir. 

Your No. 63, of the nth July last, was received at the 
Department, on the 2d Septr. It was not immediately answered, 
because it was supposed that your recognition of the independence 
of the Sicilian Government, being a mere nullity in itself, would 
pass away & be forgotten. Besides, the Department was un- 
willing to censure an act which beyond doubt proceeded from 
patriotic & pure motives. 

It would seem, however, from your No. 66, of the 28th of 
August, received on the 19th inst., & the enclosed copy of a note 
of the 24th August, addressed to you by the Marquis of Tor- 
rearsa, that the new Sicilian Government views the subject in a 
different light, and for this reason a longer silence on my part 
would be improper. 

It is very true that the Government of the U. S. has, from 
its origin, always recognized de facto Governments, as soon as 



^MSS. Department of State, 37 Domestic Letters, 51. 

' MSS. Department of State, Despatches to Consuls, X. 489. 



1848] TO MR. MARSTON 235 

they have clearly manifested their ability to maintain their 
independence. We do not go behind the existing Government to 
involve ourselves in the question of legitimacy. 

But what authority is to recognize, upon the application of 
these principles to a new Government claiming to exist over an 
Island which constituted an integral part of the dominions of a 
Sovereign with whom our relations are of a friendly character? 
This act of high sovereign power certainly cannot, without in- 
structions, be performed by a Consul, whose functions are purely 
commercial; and he ought never, under any conceivable circum- 
stances, to assume such a high responsibility. In the U. S. such 
a recognition is usually effected, either by a nomination to and 
confirmation by the Senate of a Diplomatic or Consular Agent to 
the new Government, or by an Act of Congress. The latter 
course was adopted in the recognition of the independence of the 
Spanish American Republics; but not till, after a struggle of 
several years with the Mother Country, they had clearly mani- 
fested their ability to maintain their independence. Vide the 
Act of Congress approved 4th May, 1822, "making an appro- 
priation to defray the expenses of missions to the independent 
nations on the American Continent." 

On the 22d of March, 1848, T. W. Behn, of Kentucky, was 
confirmed by the Senate, '' to be Consul of the U. S. for the Port 
of Messina, in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies." 

On the 27th of March, his Commission was transmitted to 
Mr. Rowan, our Charge d'affaires, at Naples, with the usual 
instructions to " apply to the Government of the Two Sicilies 
for an Exequatur, to be transmitted when obtained, with the 
Commission, to Mr. Behn, at the place for which he has been 
appointed." 

It seems that Mr. Rowan, as was his duty, has obtained this 
Exequatur from the King of the Two Sicilies; and it is hoped 
that no impediment may be interposed by the new Government 
of Sicily to the performance by Mr. Behn of his Consular duties, 
which are purely commercial, & equally beneficial to both 
countries. 

The President has no desire to delay the recognition of the 
independence of the Sicilian Government on the part of the U. S. 
a single moment beyond the time when this acknowledgment 
can be made in conformity with our uniform practice, since the 
origin of the Government. On the contrary, we can never be 
indifferent spectators to the progress of Liberty throughout the 



236 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

world ; and we acknowledge, in the fullest manner, the right of 
all nations to create & reform their political institutions accord- 
ing to their own will & pleasure. 

Your Nos. 60 to 66 inclusive have been received. 
I am, Sir, &c. 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. CAMPBELL.^ 

Dept. of State, Nov. i, 1848. 

Sir: I have received your letter of the 23d ult. referring 
to the case of Wm. S. Bush, steward of the American Barque 
" Childe Harold," arrested on board that vessel, charged with the 
delivery of various packages of papers calculated to create an 
insurrectionary spirit among the inhabitants of Cuba. Your 
course in this matter is fully approved; and I have to request, 
that you will continue towards him all proper countenance & 
support. 

The American Masters in the port of Havana, to whom you 
refer, are entirely mistaken in supposing that it would be a 
violation of the national flag, & national honor, to arrest one 
of the crew of a merchant vessel which had voluntarily entered 
that port, for a crime committed within the local jurisdiction. 
To use the language of C. J. Marshall, in delivering the opinion 
of the Court in the case of the Schr. Exchange vs. McFadden 
& others, (7th Cranch 144) " When private individuals of one 
nation spread themselves through another, as business or caprice 
may direct, mingling indiscrim.inately with the inhabitants of that 
other, or when Merchant vessels enter for the purposes of trade, 
it would he obviously inconvenient and dangerous to society, 
and zvould subject the laws to continual infraction, and the 
Government to degradation, if such individuals or merchants 
did not owe temporary & local allegiance, and zvere not amenable 
to the jurisdiction of the Courts/' In the U. S. we should be 
in a sad condition, if this were not the case, and if all crimes 
committed on board of foreign merchant vessels in our numerous 
ports should pass unpunished, and all criminals who could make 
their escape on board such vessels should be protected from 
arrest. In the opinion to which I have referred, the Chief 



^MSS. Department of State, Despatches to Consuls, X. 493; S. Ex. 
Doc. 33, 30 Cong. 2 Sess. 2. 



1848] TO MR. DONELSON 237 

Justice (page 156) correctly says: ''The jurisdiction of the 
nation within its own territory is necessarily exclusive & absolute. 
It is susceptible of no limitation not imposed by itself. Any 
restriction upon it, deriving validity from an external source, 
would imply a diminution of its Sovereignty to the extent of 
the restriction, and an investment of that Sovereignty, to the 
same extent, in that power which could impose such restriction." 
I am, vSir, respectfully, &c. 

James Buchanan. 
R. B. Campbell Esq. 

U. S. Consul, Havana. 



TO MR. DONELSON.^ 

(No. 22.) Department of State, 

Washington, 6th November, 1848. 
Andrew J. Donelson, Esqre., 

&c., &c., Frankfort. 
Sir: 

In compliance with the promise contained in my last 
despatch, (No. 21,) I now write to you on the subject of a 
Treaty of Navigation and Commerce with the German Con- 
federation. Whilst the President is not only walling but anxious 
to conclude such a Treaty, he desires first to have some assurance 
that the Central Government possesses the authority to accom- 
plish this desirable object. No Constitution has yet been 
adopted by the German Parliament; and your own despatches 
prove that the separate States have not yet consented that the 
Central Government shall conduct and control the foreign rela- 
tions of the Confederacy. On this subject, all yet remains in 
doubt. Meanwhile, we have subsisting Treaties, of the most 
liberal character, both of direct and indirect reciprocity, with 
Austria, Prussia, Hanover, Oldenburg, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, 
Hamburg, Bremen, Lubeck, and Denmark, for the Duchy of 
Holstein. These comprehend all the German Sea-Coast and 
Maritime States. Under such circumstances, it would doubtless 
be viewed by these States in the light of an unfriendly interfer- 
ence with the domestic concerns of Germany, if we should 
commence the negotiation of a Treaty with the Central Govern- 



^ MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Prussia, XIV. 137. 



238 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

ment, before they had either directly or indirectly authorized it 
to conclude a Treaty, more especially as this Treaty would 
necessarily supersede all our existing Treaties with them. Be- 
sides, you express serious doubts whether Austria will not with- 
draw altogether from the Confederation. 

In your despatch No. i, from Frankfort, it appears that Mr. 
Duckwitz proposes to conclude '' a general Treaty, such as we 
have with the Hanse Towns and Prussia." The Fourth Article 
of this Treaty, of the 20th December, 1827, with the Hanseatic 
Republics, is liable to serious objections. According to our laws, 
vessels of the United States are only such as are built within the 
United States, or lawfully condemned as prize of war, or are 
adjudged to be forfeited for a breach of the laws; whilst under 
this Article, the citizens of these small Republics may go abroad 
all over the world and purchase their vessels at the cheapest 
rate, and with them enter into equal competition with our own 
vessels for the whole foreign trade of the United States. Under 
this provision, the navigation of Bremen and Hamburg has 
greatly increased. The Fifth Article of our Treaty with Han- 
over was intended to place the parties to it on an equal footing 
in this respect, as well as to benefit, by mutual reciprocity between 
them, the important interest of American ship-building. We 
should be very unwilling to dispense with a similar provision in 
any Treaty which we may conclude with the Central Government 
of Germany. 

Admitting that, in the conclusion of a Treaty, you could 
obtain a reduction of the duty on Tobacco, from 5J^ to 3 German 
Thalers per centner, and that, as you say, " it would be easy to 
demonstrate that the duty on Tobacco, thus reduced, would be a 
greater benefit to us than any we possess from any existing 
Treaty, or any that we are likely to acquire by separate Treaties 
with the States of the Germanic Confederation," yet still we 
should remember that this duty has been reduced to 70 cents 
upon the hundred pounds, of our currency and weight, by 
Treaties with Hanover, Oldenburg, and Mecklenburg-Schwerin. 
This fact may be used with advantage, and ought to be used, 
to obtain a reduction of duty on tobacco below three German 
Thalers per centner. 

But will the Central Government agree by Treaty to reduce 
the duty on Tobacco to 3 Thalers per centner ? Your despatches 
taken altogether would induce me to doubt this fact; whilst a 
letter received from Mr. Graebe, under date of the 9th ultimo, 



1848] TO MR. DONELSON 239 

affirms positively that some of the German Ministers had declared 
to him, in conversation, that they could not stipulate by Treaty 
for this or any other reduction of duty, " nor advocate with the 
national Assembly any other Treaty than a mere Commercial 
Treaty, like that of the 20th December, 1827, concluded between 
the United States and the Hanseatic Towns." They consider 
that " All other points, such as a reduction of the duties on goods 
or produce, which belong in both Countries to the Legislative 
power, should be left out of the Treaty." He further states, 
that " the Ministers of Commerce and Finance are willing to 
propose the rate of 3 Rix Dollars as the duty on Tobacco, and a 
similar reduction on the present rate of rice, and believe to 
succeed at this rate. The transit and river duties so much com- 
plained of will be entirely removed." 

If Mr. Graebe's statements be well founded, (I hope they 
may not be,) it would certainly be unwise to conclude a Treaty 
with the German Confederation before the Parliament had, by 
positive enactment, made these reductions and abolished the 
transit duties. Should we do this, we might abandon all the 
advantages we derive from our Treaties with Hanover. Olden- 
burg, and Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and receive nothing in return. 
I repeat that the President is anxious to conclude a Treaty 
with the German Confederation; but, under existing circum- 
stances, he is not yet prepared to grant you the necessary Powers 
for this purpose. 

In your last despatch, of the 8th of October, you state, that 
** the mission from this Government to ours is postponed a few 
days, under the expectation that the States which are parties to 
the Federal Government will be willing to withdraw their separate 
missions, and confide their general interests, growing out of the 
intercourse with Foreign Powers, to the appointments from 
Frankfort." The moment the President learns that this expecta- 
tion has been realized, we shall transmit you instructions and full 
powers to conclude a Treaty with the German Confederation. 
If such a Treaty were negotiated and submitted for approval to 
the Parliament before the appropriate period, this might prema- 
turely produce a crisis between the States and the Central 
Government, and thus jeopard the very existence of the Federal 
Union itself, which we are so anxious to see firmly established. 
I am, Sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



240 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO MR. VERPLANCK/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, Novr. 6th, 1848. 
Hon : G. C. Verplanck 

New York. 
Sir, 

I have received your letter of the 3rd inst. addressed to me 
on behalf of the Board of Commissioners of Emigration of 
the State of New York, referring to the existence " of an 
organized system of impositions, at the principal points of 
Emigration from Europe, in the Ports of Great Britain and 
Ireland, as well as those on the Continent, by w4iich great and 
frequent frauds are committed in relation to the passages of 
Emigrants to the interior of the United States ; " together with 
a printed copy of '' Circular prepared under the authority of the 
Board with the design of exposing these frauds, thus setting the 
Emigrants on their guard against them." In the promotion of 
an object so honorable and benevolent, your Board may fully 
rely on the aid and support which this Department can properly 
afford. In reply to your suggestion that copies of this Circular 
be transmitted to the several Consuls of the U. States at all the 
points of great Emigration to this Country, and your offer to 
furnish them for that purpose, I have to state that I will, with 
great pleasure, cause them to be so addressed, with such instruc- 
tions as may be best calculated to ensure the results you have in 
view. 

I am, Sir, &c. 

James Buchanan. 



TO PRESIDENT POLK.^ 

Washington 9 November 1848. 
Sir/ 

I have received your letter of the 30th September last, 
inviting my attention to two publications in the New York 
Evening Post, bearing the signatures of Benjamin Tappan & 



^MSS. Department of State, Despatches to Consuls, XII. 407, A copy 
of the circular above mentioned was sent by Mr. Buchanan on Nov. 13, 
1848, to various consuls in Europe. (Ibid.) 

' Buchanan Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. See President 
Polk to Mr. Buchanan, Sept. 30, 1848, supra. 



1848] TO THE PRESIDENT 241 

Francis P. Blair ; and requesting me to furnish you a statement 
of all I ma}^ know of any opinions, views, or acts of yours, as 
well before as after your inauguration as President, relating to 
the subject of the annexation of Texas to the United States. 

It is proper, before I proceed to state my knowledge upon 
this subject, that I should declare, in answer to one of your 
inquiries, that w^hen the subject of the annexation of Texas w^as 
before the Senate of which I was then a member, I had no 
knowledge nor information of the statements made by Messrs. 
Tappan & Blair in their publications. 

On the day, or the day but one, after your arrival in this 
City on the evening of the 13th February 1845, yo^^ tendered me 
the office of Secretary of State. Between that time & the day 
of your inauguration, I saw you frequently and had several 
confidential conversations with you on various topics connected 
with the policy you intended to pursue as President of the 
United States; but in none of these did you ever express any 
preference either for the House resolutions, or the resolution of 
the Senate, for the admission of Texas into the Union, nor had 
I ever heard it intimated that you had expressed such a preference 
to any other person. I might add, that according to my best 
recollection, I had no knowledge of which alternative you would 
adopt until Monday the loth March 1845, the day of the first 
regular Cabinet Meeting. 

On the morning of that day I was qualified as Secretary of 
State before Judge Catron & immediately entered upon the 
duties of the office. Afterwards, on the same morning, I read 
in Cabinet the Despatch of Mr. Calhoun to Mr. Donelson, dated 
on the 3d March 1845, ^^7 which the latter was instructed to 
present to the Government of Texas, as the basis of the admission 
of that State into the Union, the two first resolutions as they had 
passed the House of Representatives. Some member of the 
Cabinet, I do not now recollect the individual, suggested, that 
as President Tyler had already made his election in favor of the 
House Resolutions, it was doubtful whether President Polk 
possessed the power to reverse this decision of his predecessor & 
adopt the third resolution or amendment of the Senate. This 
question was not decided ; because it was found, after a brief 
interchange of opinions, that yourself & all the members of the 
Cabinet, without hesitation, were clearly & decidedly in favor of 
the House Resolutions, in preference to the Resolution of the 
Senate. We all then believed, as I still believe, that the selection 

Vol. VIII— 16 



242 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

of the Senate's amendment would have delayed & jeoparded, if 
it had not altogether defeated, the annexation of Texas. There 
was not the least hesitation, on your part, in arriving at this 
conclusion. 

This point being settled, after consultation with the Cabinet, 
you deemed it important that a Despatch should be immediately 
transmitted to Mr. Donelson confirming the selection which had 
been made by Mr. Tyler of the House resolutions; but modifying 
Mr. Calhoun's Despatch in certain particulars which I need not 
specify. I then left the Cabinet in session, completed my 
despatch of the loth March, & obtained your approval of it on 
the same evening, & sent it off to Mr. Donelson by the late 
Governor Yell of Arkansas. 

In all our subsequent intercourse, I have never heard you 
utter a sentiment inconsistent with the strong opinion which you 
expressed, at the first Cabinet Meeting, in favor of the House 
Resolutions. 

Yours very respectfully 

James Buchanan. 
His Excellency James K. Polk. 



TO MR. GRAHAM.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, Novr. nth, 1848. 
Joseph Graham, Esqre. 

U. S. C. Buenos Ayres. 
Sir, 

Ygjur despatches as Acting U. S. Consul at Buenos Ayres to 
No. 21, inclusive, have been received. 

In reference to the case of the Barque " Ellen Augusta," 
which Vessel, as appears from your No. 18, was sold to Hugh 
E. Fiddis, a Citiaen of Baltimore, and came to Buenos Ayres 
with a Sea-let^fr, signed by Gorham Parks, U. S. Consul at Rio 
de Janeiro, in the body of which the f olio winp;^ was inserted as a 
parenthesis, viz. : " I engage and agree that if thi^' Sea-letter is 
found with the Bark * Ellen Augusta ' on the Coast of Africa, 
it shall be considered prima facie evidence that the said ' Ellen 
Augusta ' is engaged in illegal traffic connected with the Slave 
trade " — I have to state, that no instructions have been given to 



* MSS. Department of State, Despatches to Consuls, XIII. 120. 



1848] TO MR. ROBINSON 243 

Mr. Parks to prohibit American Vessels sailing under a Bill of 
Sale, by inserting such a clause therein, from going to the Coast 
of Africa, or to that of any Country w;hich she might have a 
right to do, under her original Register. On the contrary, Mr. 
Parks was instructed that the Bill of Sale properly authenticated, 
and reciting at length the original certificate of Registi'y, became 
the substitute on board of the Vessel for that Certificate " until 
her first arrival in the United States thereafter." I enclose here- 
with a copy of the instructions given to Mr. Parks, under date 
of 26th May, 1847, upon the question presented by him, whether 
in case of the sale of an American Vessel in a foreign port to 
an American Citizen, all the formalities required by law to render 
such sale valid being complied with, she is bound to return to the 
United States for a new Register, before she can undertake an- 
other voyage, and request that you w^ill be guided by them in all 
cases of such sales within your jurisdiction. 

A copy of your No. 19, giving an account of the loss of the 
American Brig " Angeline," and of the noble and generous 
conduct of the Master of the Danish Schooner " Estevan," by 
whom seven of her Crew were saved and taken to Buenos Ay res, 
has been referred to the Comptroller of the Treasury, with a view 
to his authorizing the proper compensation to the owner of the 
'' Estevan " for the provisions consumed by these men, during 
the two months they were on board of his Vessel. 

Your draft dated 23rd June, 1848, for $96.80, has been 
duly honored. 

I am. Sir, &c. 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. ROBINSON.^ 

Department of State, 
Washington, 15th November, 1848. 
W. E. Robinson, Esq. 
New York city. 
Sir: 

I have received your note of the loth instant, relating to the 
case of James Bergen, an American seaman in confinement at 
Dublin. " 

You are already acquainted with the contents of Mr. Ban- 



^MSS. Department of State, 37 Domestic Letters, 56. 



244 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

croft's letter of the 23d September last, to Mr. Bergen, informing 
him of the proceedings of the Legation, up to that date, with 
reference to his arrest and detention in Newgate. I have only 
to add, in answer to your inquiries, that, on the same day, Mr. 
Bancroft earnestly pressed this case upon the attention of the 
British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; and Lord 
Palmerston said, in reply, (26th September,) that he had not 
yet received the answer from the home department to the refer- 
ence previously made to it upon the subject, &c. In a letter of 
subsequent date, (30th September,) His Lordship states that 
authentic infonnation had reached Her Majesty's Government, 
and the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, that Mr. Bergen was con- 
cerned in treasonable practices in connection with the late at- 
tempted outbreak in Ireland; and, there being reason to believe 
that he came to that country as the agent of certain associations 
which have been formed in New York for the purpose of sup- 
porting that outbreak, the Lord Lieutenant therefore felt it to 
be his duty to cause Mr. Bergen to be arrested and imprisoned; 
and that, under these circumstances, Her Majesty's Government 
see no reason for releasing him. In a despatch from Mr. Ban- 
croft, dated 20th October, (the last received,) he says he still 
thinks that Mr. Bergen will not be brought to trial, but expresses 
this opinion doubtingly. 

Your general questions, '' whether the seizure of other Amer- 
ican citizens on suspicion, by the British Government, has been 
made the subject of correspondence between the Governments; 
and whether any explanation has been asked or made upon the 
pursuit and search of American vessels for the apprehension of 
political refugees on their way to this country," w^ould seem to 
call for information connected with our foreign relations which 
the Department does not, at the present moment, find itself at 
liberty to communicate. 

I am. Sir, &c., 

James Buchanan. 



1848] TO MR. CARR 245 

TO MR. WALKER.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 17th Nov., 1848. 
Hon. R. J. Walker, 

Secretary of the Treasury. 
Sir: 

The enclosed copy of a note, just received from Her Britan- 
nic Majesty's Charge d' Affaires at Washington, will acquaint 
you with the favorable result of the application which was, at 
your instance, made through this Department to the British 
Government, in August last, for permission to transfer from 
the ocean to the lakes, via the river St. Lawrence, two small 
schooners, to replace the steamers ''J^ff^^^^^ " and '' Dallas," 
withdrawn from the United States revenue service on Lakes 
Erie and Ontario. 

I have the honor, &c., 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. CARR.^ 



No. 12. Department of State, 

Washington, i8th November, 1848. 
Thomas Nelson Carr, Esqre., 

Late Consul of the United States at Tangier, 
now in New York. 
Sir: — 

Your despatch No. 29, of the 19th July last, and received at 
the Department on the 7th Instant, would seem to require an 
answer. This is due in justice to the President, who has acted 
in the most friendly spirit towards you throughout your difficul- 
ties at Tangier; and it is due, also, to yourself; because you seem 
to have misunderstood and therefore misrepresented all his pro- 
ceedings. In this answer, I shall endeavor to avoid the tone and 
temper which you have manifested throughout your despatch. 
You were appointed Consul of the United States to Tangier 
on the 23rd May, 1845. This appointment was made by the 
President, because he believed that, without good cause, you had 
been removed by his predecessor, and that justice to yourself 



*MSS. Department of State, 2>1 Domestic Letters, 58. 

' MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Barbary Powers, XIV. 'jd. 



246 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

required your restoration. He was not ignorant of the fact, 
at the time, that your reception might be attended with difficulties ; 
but he had determined, at all events, that he would evince, by 
your appointment, his sense of the injustice which you had suf- 
fered. It never was his intention, however, to employ the Navy 
of the United States to compel the Emperor of Morocco to 
receive you as Consul. This was beyond his Constitutional 
power. Besides, in the intercourse of Nations, one Government 
may refuse for personal reasons to receive a particular Represen- 
tative from another, without affording just cause of offence. I 
might cite several examples to this effect, if it were necessary. 
Still, it was deemed advisable to send with you to Tangier an 
imposing Naval force, under the belief that this might tend to 
secure your reception. 

Our apprehensions that you might not be received were 
greatly increased by the receipt of three letters, dated before 
your arrival in Tangier, — one from the Emperor of Morocco to 
the President, of i6th July, 1845, — another from Cid Bonssel- 
man Benali, the Emperor's Pacha of the Northern Provinces, 
styling himself " Agent of the Imperial Court and Plenipo- 
tentiary of His Imperial Majesty," to myself, dated on the 23rd 
July, 1845, — and the third, from Sid Mohammed Ben Eddress, 
styling himself Secretary of the Imperial '' Commandements," to 
myself, dated on the i6th July, 1845. The packet containing 
these letters was received by the Department on the 12th Septem- 
ber, 1845, from Mr. Pageot, then the French Minister to the 
United States ; who observed, at the time, that he had been used 
merely as an intermediary in transmitting these letters, upon the 
request of the Emperor of Morocco, and beyond this neither the 
French Government nor himself felt any concern in the matter. 

These letters strongly, but in respectful terms, remonstrated 
against your appointment as Consul, and requested the President 
to continue Mr. Mullowny in office. Among other reasons stated 
against your appointment, the Pacha of the Northern Provinces, 
in his letter, alleges that " The Consul, the predecessor of Mr. 
Mullowny, has had a disagreeable question with our Caliphate 
of Tangier, and with the Chiefs of the Merchants, to such a 
degree that an Admiral came by your orders to inform himself 
of the true position of this affair. Our Caliph was deprived of 
his office, although the charges which Mr. Carr imputed against 
him were not well founded. They weighed (or rested) on the 
contrary against himself. We agreed with this Admiral to 



1848] TO MR. CARR 247 

deprive the Consul, Mr. Thomas Nelson Carr, of his office, and, 
also, our Caliph, although he was innocent of all of which he 
was accused." Upon examination, it was found that Commo- 
dore Morgan had assured the Emperor that you had been relieved 
from public service, and, in consequence, your reappointment to 
the same station was thus made to assume in the eyes of the 
Emperor, however unjustly, the appearance of a violation of 
faith on our part. 

These letters were perused with the deepest regret and the 
warmest sympathy for yourself by the President and every 
member of his Cabinet. It was determined, however, to give 
them no answer at the time; but to await the arrival of despatches 
from yourself. 

On the 8th December, 1845, your despatch No. 4, of the 2nd 
November preceding, was received at the Department. From 
this, it is highly probable that you Avould not have been received 
but for the presence and interposition of Commodore Smith, with 
two vessels of war; and that the Emperor was still awaiting an 
answer to his letter from the President. It was hoped and 
earnestly desired, notwithstanding, that the whole affair might 
pass into oblivion, in consequence of your reception; and the 
President, therefore, determined that he would not answer the 
Emperor's letter, unless an answer should be again solicited. 

On the 23rd February, 1846, I received through Mr. Pageot, 
at the Department of State, a letter dated 19th December, 1845, — 
less than two months after your reception, — and addressed to 
myself by Abon-Selhan Ben AH, styling himself " Employe of 
the highest office," "Sultan's Secretary," and "Vizier;" in 
which, after adverting to the Emperor's letter to the President, 
and complaining " that there is no agreeable reminiscence or any 
mention of what is agreed upon from your side," he says, " we 
earnestly entreat an early reply to the letter which we sent to 
Your Excellency. We are in expectation of it morning and 
night." 

This letter — of the genuineness of which neither Mr. Hodg- 
son nor myself entertain the least doubt — was immediately sent 
to that gentleman for a translation from the Arabic, which, 
together with the original, was received from him on the 7th 
March, 1846. 

The whole case was soon after submitted to the President in 
Cabinet Council. What w^as then to be done? In the inter- 
course among nations, the practice has been — unless under 



248 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

very peculiar circumstances — for one Government to recall its 
Diplomatic Agents at the request of another. This practice is 
founded upon the principle that Diplomatic intercourse is estab- 
lished between the powers of the Earth for the purpose of 
cultivating friendly relations with each other; and that when a 
Diplomatic Representative has rendered himself so disagreeable 
to the Government to which he is accredited, whether with or 
without good cause, as to induce them to request his recall, this 
great object can no longer be accomplished through his agency. 
The convenience of the individual, under such circumstances, 
must yield to the good of the Country. There are undoubtedly 
exceptions to this rule; but it was not believed that your case 
constituted one of them. The Emperor of Morocco had re- 
ceived you, his authorities had treated you kindly after the 
reception, and he had referred the whole matter in the most 
respectful manner to the President. 

The President might, and perhaps should, then have re- 
called you, but from his sincere desire to avoid this disagreeable 
alternative, he resolved to address the letter to the Emperor of 
Morocco, of the 20th March, 1846. Surely you cannot be dis- 
satisfied with the terms of this letter. It spoke of you in the 
kindest manner, urged persuasive reasons why the Emperor 
should be satisfied Avith you, and informed His Majesty that 
Mr. Mullowny would not, under any circumstances, be restored 
to office. 

It was believed that this declaration in regard to Mr. Mul- 
lowny would have a powerful effect in your favor, by convincing 
the Emperor that in no event could his favorite be restored. The 
President, however, promised, that if you should not have suc- 
ceeded in rendering yourself acceptable to the Emperor before 
this letter reached him, he would recall you, should the Emperor 
make this request. Thus, in kindness to yourself, nothing was 
to be done, until the President should again hear from the 
Emperor. 

At the Cabinet Council, when the President determined to 
send this letter to the Emperor, Governor Marcy, your constant 
friend, undertook the task of explaining to you, in a private and 
friendly letter, the whole transaction. This he immediately per- 
formed. Although you did not acknowledge the receipt of his 
letter, yet I was happy to observe from your letter to the Presi- 
dent of the 15th July, 1846, that you were well acquainted with 
the character of his letter, and adopted strong measures to pre- 



1848] TO MR. CARR 249 

vent the Emperor from asking for your recall. Among these 
measures your letter to " the Sultan's Minister," accompanying 
that of the President to the Emperor, was scarcely justifiable; 
but as you acknowledged that the step was unauthorized, and 
excused yourself to the President for having taken it, this was 
passed over by him without censure. 

It was confidently believed, from the character of the Presi- 
dent's letter to the Emperor, that he would not persist in asking 
your recall, especially as he was distinctly informed that Mr. 
Mullowny could under no circumstances be continued ; and I 
observe that you made good use of this circumstance in the letter 
which you addressed to the '* Sultan's Minister." 

Before I delivered the letter of the President to Mr. Pageot, 
I read it to him, — expressed the strong desire of the President 
that the Emperor should not ask for your recall, and intimated 
that the French Government might probably think proper to use 
their influence for the accomplishment of the President's wishes 
in your favor. I also said, that the French Charge d'Affaires 
at Tangier would, of course, make known its contents to you 
before it was transmitted to the Emperor. He replied at once 
that he would make my suggestions known to Mr. Guizot, and 
there was no doubt he would be happy to promote the President's 
object. He told me afterwards that he had acted according to 
my suggestion. 

From the date of the President's letter, (the 20th March, 
1846) till 8th November, 1847, we heard nothing more of the 
matter, and hence we inferred that the whole affair had been 
amicably terminated. Still it was thought strange that the Em- 
peror had never acknowledged the receipt of the President's 
letter, especially as his Minister, in acknowledging the receipt 
both of the President's letter and your own, had declared that 
the Emperor's " answer, when sent, shall certainly be forwarded 
to you, if it please God, that you may send it to its destination." 
Accordingly, on the 28th May, 1847, fourteen months after the 
date of the President's letter, I informed you that " the Presi- 
dent has not yet received an answer from the Emperor to his 
letter dated 20th March, 1846, which was transmitted through 
the French Legation here. He cannot account for this great 
delay. He trusts that when it arrives it may prove to be in 
accordance with your wishes." 

You may judge of our astonishment, then, when we first 
learned from you, in answer to this despatch, that you had been 



250 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

entrusted with the Emperor's answer of the 17th July, 1846, so 
long ago as August, 1846, and had withheld it and all knowledge 
of its contents from the President for more than a year. It was 
first transmitted by you to this Department with your despatches 
Nos. 15 and 20, of the 28th June and 3rd September, 1847; both 
of which were received on the 8th of November following. 

Although this conduct on your part was not approved, yet 
the President's kindness did not desert you even on this occasion. 
In your despatch No. 20, of the 3rd September, 1847, which 
accompanied the Emperor's letter, you tendered your resignation, 
and strongly expressed the opinion that the President should not 
notice this letter favorably. Even in this request you were 
indulged. The question then for the President's decision was, 
whether he should recall you, in accordance with his promise to 
the Emperor, and announce this fact to His Majesty, or accept 
your resignation and return no answer whatever to his letter. 
The President, acting towards you with that friendly spirit which 
has characterized his whole conduct, adopted the latter alterna- 
tive, — accepted your resignation, and has returned no answer to 
the Emperor. Nay, more; he cheerfully complied with your 
request, and permitted you to retain your place until a successor 
should arrive at Tangier, whose nomination to the Senate was 
delayed until the 29th February, 1848, expressly for your ac- 
commodation. In consequence of this you retained your office 
at Tangier until the 19th July, 1848, — the date of your last 
despatch. 

I consider the present simple narrative a conclusive answer 
to this despatch, without noticing in detail each particular item 
of it. You complain of the opposition you have been made to 
encounter at Washington; although the President and every 
member of his Cabinet, so far as my knowledge extends, were 
your friends, and were anxious to sustain you. You speak of 
what passed at audiences which I gave to the French and British 
Ministers. In regard to these you have been altogether mis- 
informed. I never had a word with the French Minister in 
relation to your case, except what I have heretofore stated. I 
feel quite confident that I never conversed with the British 
Minister on the subject; and if I did, it is absolutely certain 
that it was in the same spirit which I manifested in conversing 
with the French Minister. 

From your despatches it appears that the Diplomatic Agents 
at Tangier, both of England and France, had resorted to every 



1848] TO MR. STAPLES 251 

artifice, first, to prevent your reception, and afterwards to pro- 
duce your recall. The motives for such conduct are entirely 
beyond my comprehension, because I cannot conceive what pos- 
sible difference it could make either to them or to their Govern- 
ments whether the United States were represented at Tangier by 
Mr. Carr, Mr. Hyatt, or any other respectable American Citizen. 
But you foiled all their arts and maintained yourself in office, by 
the simple expedient of withholding from the President, for more 
than a year, the letter directed to him by the Emperor, soliciting 
your recall, which had been confided to you. 

It would be easy for me to reply most satisfactorily to the 
last charge in your despatch, against the Department; but I 
purposely limit myself to that which concerns yourself 
personally. \ 

Yours very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. STAPLES.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, Novr. i8, 1848. 
William J. Staples, Esqre. 

U. S. Consul, Havre. 
Sir, 

Your No. 274 was duly received. The expectation of 
further communications therein promised, but not yet realized, 
has delayed a reply. Mr. Rush had, previously to the receipt 
of your despatch, transmitted copies of your several communica- 
tions to him and his reply to you. 

From an attentive perusal of these papers, I regret to per- 
ceive that you have become involved in irritating discussions with 
the local authorities of Havre, on several questions relating to 
the discharge of your Official duties. The caution enjoined by 
the General Instructions, " not to enter into any contentions 
which can be avoided, with the local authorities of the Country 
in which you reside," has peculiar application to the late and 
present condition of France. 

Although your late despatch refers exclusively to the ques- 
tions connected with the condemnation and sale of the Ship 
" John Cadmus," the same principles would seem to be involved 



MSS. Department of State, Despatches to Consuls, XII. 409. 



252 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

in those presented by your several communications to Mr. Rush. 
The errors you appear to have committed originate in a miscon- 
ception of the extent of your Consular Jurisdiction ; which cannot 
be exercised in conflict with the local law, but only in conformity 
with it. The Master of a Vessel, alone, has the right to sell her, 
under the circumstances in which the '' John Cadmus " was 
placed. In the language of Mr. Justice Thompson, in delivering 
the opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States in the case 
of the Patapsco Insurance Co. vs. Southgate & al. (5 Peters 620), 
'* as a general proposition, there can be no doubt that the injury 
to the Vessel may be so great, and the necessity so urgent, as to 
justify a sale. There must be this implied authority in the 
Master from the nature of the case. He, from necessity, becomes 
the Agent of both parties, (the Owners and the Underwriters) 
and is bound, in good faith, to act for the benefit of all con- 
cerned." His responsibility is great, and for his own security, 
to manifest the fairness of his proceedings, he should adopt the 
mode of survey, condemnation, and sale, for unseaworthiness, 
prescribed by the local laws. This will constitute strong evidence 
of the correctness of his proceedings. No Act of Congress 
authorizes our own Consuls abroad, or foreign Consuls in this 
Country, to interfere in such cases; though the agency of our 
Consuls has been properly employed in these proceedings, where 
the local laws permit. Such was the practice for a long period 
of time in the West India Ports of Spain ; but their interference 
has been recently prohibited there by the local law. In reply to 
their remonstrances to this Department on the subject, uniform 
instructions have been given, to conform to the local law. You 
therefore erred in refusing to verify, under your Consular seal, 
the proces verbal in the case of the '' John Cadmus," if the facts 
were truly stated therein. You were also in error in asserting a 
right to exclude the agency of the Master, and substitute your 
own, in the sale of his Vessel. Whilst on the spot he was the 
legitimate representative of his Owners, responsible to those by 
whom the property was confided to his charge, and for whom 
the law had devolved upon him the duty and responsibility of 
acting. In the matter of Wrecks (see General Instructions, 
page 31) the Consular Jurisdiction is limited to cases where the 
'* Master, Owner, or Consignee " is absent, or incapable of taking 
charge of the property. The same principle governs in the case 
of the Vessel. 

By the exhibition of great firmness and discretion in the 



1848] TO GOVERNOR JOHNSTON 253 

discharge of his Official duties, during many years of service, 
your worthy predecessor estabHshed high claims upon the confi- 
dence and good feelings of the local authorities of Havre. For 
the attainment of an object so desirable, you cannot too closely 
imitate his example. You ought not, therefore, to change the 
course which he has pursued, in any important particular, without 
first consulting this Department, or the Minister of the United 
States at Paris. Thus shaping your course of Official action, 
and strictly adhering to the General Instructions, I trust you will 
be able successfully to extricate yourself from present and avoid 
future difficulties. 

I am. Sir, &c. 

Tames Buchanan. 



TO GOVERNOR JOHNSTON.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, i8th Nov., 1848. 
His Excellency, William F. Johnston, 

Governor of Pennsylvania. 
Sir: 

I have been directed by the President to acknowledge the 
receipt of your Excellency's letter to him of the 28th ultimo, 
together with the accompanying communication of the i8th 
ultimo made to you by Major General Patterson, in relation to 
the murder alleged to have been committed in Mexico by Captain 
Foster, of the Georgia Infantry, upon the person of Lieutenant 
Goff, of the Pennsylvania Volunteers. 

These letters were referred by the President to the Attorney 
General for his legal opinion upon the questions which they 
involved, and I now have the honor of transmitting a copy of 
that opinion, under date of the 15th instant, to your Excellency, 
with the expression of the President's regret that the existing 
laws of the United States do not provide for the trial and 
punishment of Captain Foster. 

Yours, very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 



*MSS. Department of State, yj Domestic Letters, 59. 



254 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO MR. DONELSON/ 

(No. 23.) Department of State, 

Washington, 20th November, 1848. 
Andrew J. Donelson, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

I transmit to you, herewith, a communication from the 
President of the United States to His Majesty Frederick WilHam 
IV., in answer to a letter received on the 15th instant, in which 
His Majesty announces the recall of Baron Von Gerolt, late 
Minister Resident of Prussia at Washington. 

The letter of the President is accompanied by an office copy, 
which you will communicate to the Prussian Minister of Foreign 
Relations, upon your asking, through him, an audience of the 
Sovereign to deliver the original. You will also avail yourself 
of the opportunity that may be thus presented, to express orally 
to His Majesty, on behalf of the President and Government of 
the United States, sentiments of international friendship and 
good will corresponding with those contained in the enclosed 
letter, as well as to call his attention to the high estimate which 
we placed upon Mr. Von Gerolt. 
I am, Sir, respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO W. M. MEREDITH.^ 

(Private.) Lancaster, November 21, 1848. 

My Dear Sir: — 

I have seen Mr. Fordney since I came here, who read me a 
part of your second letter. From this I infer that you regret 
you had parted with Wheatland. Now, my dear sir, if you have 
the least inclination to retain it, speak the word and our bargain 
shall be as if it never had been. It will not put me to the 
least inconvenience, as I have an excellent house in Lancaster. 
Indeed I feel a personal interest in having you in the midst of 
our society; and if you should retain Wheatland, I know that 



^ MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Prussia, XIV. 142. 
^ Curtis's Buchanan, 11. 4. For Mr. Meredith's declination of this con- 
siderate offer, see Curtis's Buchanan, II. 4. 



1848] TO SENOR DE LA ROSA 255 

after you shall be satisfied with fame and fortune, you will 
make this beautiful residence your place of permanent abode. 
Please to address me at Paradise P. C, Lancaster county, 
as I shall be at my brother's, near that place, to-morrow evening, 
where I shall remain until Thursday evening. 

From your friend, ver)^ respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 



TO SENOR DE LA ROSA.^ 

Department of State, 
Washington, 28th November, 1848. 
To Senor Luis de la Rosa, 
&c. &c. &c. 

The Undersigned, Secretary of State of the United States, 
has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the note of this date 
addressed to him by Sefior Don Luis de la Rosa, accompanied by 
a copy of his letter of Credence as Envoy Extraordinary and 
Minister Plenipotentiary of the Mexican Republic to the United 
States and of a letter to the Undersigned from Sefior Don 
Mariano Otero, Minister for Foreign Affairs of that Republic. 
In answer to Mr. de la Rosa's request to be informed of the 
day when he may deliver the original of Mr. Otero's communi- 
cation, the Undersigned has the honor to state that he will 
receive him for that purpose at twelve o'clock to-morrow, 
Wednesday, the 29th instant. The Undersigned will take an 
early occasion to submit to the President the copy of Mr. de la 
Rosa's letter of Credence, and wnll inform him of the day and 
hour when the President will receive him for the purpose of 
presenting the original. 

The Undersigned embraces this opportunity to offer to Mr. 
de la Rosa the assurance of his very high consideration. 

James Buchanan. 



MSS. Department of State, Notes to Mexican Legation, VI. 193. 



256 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

TO MR. CARROL/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, Nov. 30th, 1848. 
William Carrol Esqre. 

U. S. Consul, Port Louis. 
Sir, 

I have received from Mr. Griffith, late Acting Commercial 
Agent of the U. States, at Port Louis, several communications 
and documents relating to the alleged refusal of the local police 
to aid and assist him in the case of certain Seamen of the 
American Ship " Jasper." Upon a careful perusal of these 
papers, I am not able to perceive that the authorities there require 
any act or proceeding on the part of the Commercial Agent, to 
justify their interference, which is not enjoined by the Consular 
Instructions, and appears to be of a reasonable character. By 
Art: 35, page 20, it is made his duty, '' after taking the Deposi- 
tions necessary to establish the facts, to apply to the local 
authorities for means of securing the offenders while they remain 
in port, &c." These depositions w^ould appear to constitute all 
that the authorities ask, as a justification for the arrest, and it is 
an unreasonable claim on the part of the Agent to insist upon 
their interference, whilst he withholds it. The aid and assistance 
which he is directed to seek is rendered solely as an act of 
National courtesy, and imposes a strong obligation, in availing 
himself of it, to conform as nearly as possible to the requisition 
of the local law applicable to such cases. 

I am &c. 

James Buchanan. 



TO SENOR DE LA ROSA.^ 

Department of State, 
Washington, 30th November, 1848. 
To Senor Don Luis de la Rosa, 
&c. &c. &c. 
The Undersigned, Secretary of State of the United States, 
has the honor to acquaint Mr. de la Rosa, Envoy Extraordinary 
and Minister Plenipotentiary of Mexico, that he has submitted 



^MSS. Department of State, Despatches to Consuls, XII. 412. 
^MSS. Department of State, Notes to Mexican Legation, VI. 194. 



1848] TO MR. WINTHROP 257 

to the President his note to the Undersigned of the 28th instant, 
with the copy of Mr. de la Rosa's letter of Credence which 
accompanied it, and has the honor to state that the President 
will receive him for the purpose of presenting the original, at 
two o'clock on Saturday next, the 2nd proximo. 

The Undersigned avails himself of this occasion to offer to 
Mr. de la Rosa renewed assurances of his most distinguished 
consideration. 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. WINTHROP.^ 

Department of State, 

December 2, 1848. 

The Secretary of State, in obedience to the 20th section of 
the act entitled " An act legalizing and making appropriations 
for such necessary objects as have usually been included in the 
general appropriation bills without authority of law, and to 
fix and provide for certain incidental expenses of the depart- 
ments and offices of the government, and for other purposes," 
approved the 26th of August, 1842, and the act making appro- 
priations for the civil and diplomatic expenses of government for 
the year 1836, (section 2,) has the honor to submit to Congress 
the accompanying statements. A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. 

That marked A shows the manner in which the fund for the 
contingent expenses of the Department of State has been ex- 
pended, so far as the disbursements have been made by the 
agent of the department, during the fiscal year ending on the 
30th of June, 1848. 

B. — Showing the disbursements from the same fund by 
others than the agent of the Department of State, as stated by 
the 5th Auditor, from the ist of July, 1847, to the 30th of 
June, 1848. 

C. — A statement of the balances of the same appropriation 
remaining in the treasury, and in the hands of the disbursing 
agent, on the 30th of June, 1848. 

D. — A copy of a precise and analytical statement, by the 
agent of the department, of all moneys disbursed by him during 
the fiscal year ending on the 30th of June, 1848. 

E. — A statement of disbursements from the fund for con- 



"^ H. Ex. Doc. 5, 30 Cong. 2 Sess. 
Vol. VIII— 17 



258 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

tingent expenses of foreign intercourse, for the year ending on 
the 30th of November, 1848. 

F. — A statement of disbursements from the fund for the 
contingent expenses of all the missions abroad, by the agent of 
the department, for the fiscal year ending on the 30th of June, 
1848; and G, a statement of those from the same fund, by others 
than the agent, as stated by the Fifth Auditor. 

James Buchanan. 
Hon. R. C. Winthrop, 

Speaker of the House of Representatives. 



PRESIDENT POLK'S ANNUAL ADDRESS, 

DECEMBER 5, 1848.1 
[Extract.] 
Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and of the House of Representatives: 

. . . I am happy to inform you that our relations with all nations are 
friendly and pacific. Advantageous treaties of commerce have been concluded 
within the last four years with New Granada, Peru, the Two Sicilies, 
Belgium, Hanover, Oldenburg, and Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Pursuing our 
example, the restrictive system of Great Britain, our principal foreign cus- 
tomer, has been relaxed; a more liberal commercial policy has been adopted 
by other enlightened nations, and our trade has been greatly enlarged and 
extended. Our country stands higher in the respect of the world than at any 
former period. To continue to occupy this proud position, it is only neces- 
sary to preserve peace and faithfully adhere to the great and fundamental 
principle of our foreign policy, of non-interference in the domestic concerns 
of other nations. We recognize in all nations the right which we enjoy our- 
selves, to change and reform their political institutions according to their 
own will and pleasure. Hence we do not look behind existing governments, 
capable of maintaining their own authority. We recognize all such actual 
governments, not only from the dictates of true policy, but from a sacred 
regard for the independence of nations. While this is our settled policy, 
it does not follow that we can ever be indifferent spectators of the progress 
of liberal principles. The Government and people of the United States hailed 
with enthusiasm and delight the establishment of the French Republic, as 
we now hail the efforts in progress to unite the States of Germany in a 
confederation similar in many respects to our own Federal Union. If the 
great and enlightened German States, occupying, as they do, a central and 
commanding position in Europe, shall succeed in establishing such a con- 
federated government, securing at the same time to the citizens of each 
State local governments adapted to the peculiar condition of each, with 
unrestricted trade and intercourse with each other, it will be an important 



H. Ex. Doc. I, 30 Cong. 2 Sess. 3-5. 



1848] TO MR. CAMPBELL 259 

era in the history of human events. Whilst it will consolidate and strengthen 
the power of Germany, it must essentially promote the cause of peace, com- 
merce, civilization, and constitutional liberty throughout the world. 

With all the Governments on this continent our relations, it is believed, 
are now on a more friendly and satisfactory footing than they have ever 
been at any former period. 

Since the exchange of ratifications of the treaty of peace with Mexico, 
our intercourse with the Government of that Republic has been of the 
most friendly character. The envoy extraordinary and minister plenipo- 
tentiary of the United States to Mexico has been received and accredited, 
and a diplomatic representative from Mexico of similar rank has been 
received and accredited by this Government. The amicable relations between 
the two countries, which had been suspended, have been happily restored, 
and are destined, I trust, to be long preserved. The two Republics, both 
situated on this continent, and with coterminous territories, have every 
motive of sympathy and of interest to bind them together in perpetual 
amity. 

This gratifying condition of our foreign relations renders it unnecessary 
for me to call your attention more specifically to them. 

It has been my constant aim and desire to cultivate peace and commerce 
with all nations. Tranquillity at home and peaceful relations abroad con- 
stitute the true permanent policy of our country. War, the scourge of 
nations, sometimes becomes inevitable, but is always to be avoided when it 
can be done consistently with the rights and honor of a nation. 



TO MR. CAMPBELL.^ 

Dept. of State nth Deer. 748. 

Sir : I duly reed, your letter of the 7th Novr. last, enclos- 
ing copies of your entire correspondence with the Authorities 
of Cuba, in relation to the imprisonment & incommunication of 
Wm. H. Bush, stated by you to be " unchanged." The course 
pursued by you & zeal manifested in behalf of this unfortunate 
individual are highly approved. 

That the Authorities of Cuba possess the right to arrest and 
bring to trial any individual charged with crime committed within 
their jurisdiction, cannot be denied. Independently of the prin- 
ciples of public law by which it is sustained, it is distinctly 
recognized in the stipulations of our Treaty with Spain of 1795. 
The 7th Article provides that, " in case of seizure, or offences 
committed by any citizen or subject of the one party within the 
jurisdiction of the other, the same shall be made & prosecuted 



* MSS. Department of State, Despatches to Consuls, X. 497 ; S. Ex. Doc. 
33, 30 Cong. 2 Sess. 14. 



260 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

by order & authority of law only, & according to the regular 
course of proceeding usual in such cases." So far, therefore, as 
the " arrest " & imprisonment of Bush are concerned, if con- 
ducted according to usage in such cases, no just cause of com- 
plaint would seem to exist. Very different, however, is the case 
in regard to the '* incommunication." The same (7th) article 
of the Treaty, after a general provision securing to the citizens 
& subjects of both parties the right to employ such advocates, 
solicitors, agents, &c., as they may judge proper in their affairs, 
expressly declared, that *' such agents shall have free access, to 
be present at the proceedings in such causes, & at the taking of 
all examinations & evidence which may be exhibited in the said 
trials.'' With these rights, secured to American citizens within 
the jurisdiction of Spain, the " incommunication " of Bush ap- 
pears to be directly in conflict, & to constitute cause of serious 
complaint. The history of the Treaty affords the evidence that 
they were deliberately inserted therein as safeguards to protect 
our citizens from oppression abroad. In communicating- the 
Treaty to his Govt. Air. Pinckney, the American negotiator, 
specially points to this article & significantly to the objects it 
had in view. " The first part,'' says he, '' is taken from the i6th 
of Prussia," '^ the latter I added, because I considered it a good 
stipulation in all situations, but particularly so in Spain." That 
it applies clearly to the case of Bush, I entertain no doubt; nor 
of the obligation of this Government promptly to insist that no 
portion of the rights & privileges it confers be longer withheld 
from him. In this spirit, and to that end, you are authorized to 
address yourself to the Captain General, in the expression of a 
full conviction, on the part of your Govt., that the '' incommuni- 
cation " of Busli will be promptly so far modified as to extend 
to him all the protection, privilege, & favor secured to him by 
the existing Treaty betw^een the U. S. & Spain. Such other 
countenance & support in his difficulties as may be proper, you 
will, doubtless, with pleasure afford him. 

You will take care, so far as may be in your power, that 
he shall not be treated with injustice, harshness, or cruelty. 
I shall expect to hear from you without delay, because should 
the Captain General insist upon withholding from American 
citizens the rights to which they are clearly entitled under the 
Treaty, it will become necessary to make a strong appeal to the 
Authorities at Madrid, against this violation of national faith. 

I am vSir &c., 

James Buchanan. 

R. B. Campbell Esqr. 
U. S. Consul, Havana. 



1848] TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE 261 

TO MR. GRINNELL/ 

Department of State, 
Washington, nth December, 1848. 
Hon. Joseph Grinnell, 

House of Representatives. 
Sir: 

In answer to the inquiry contained in your letter of the 
8th inst., respecting" the claim of the owners and crew of the 
ship Miles upon the Government of Portugal, I transmit herewith, 
for the information of the parties interested, a copy of the latest 
correspondence on the subject which has passed between this 
Department and Mr. Hopkins, our Charge d'Affaires at Lisbon. 

Mr. Taylor's letter to you, dated New Bedford, 28th 
November, which came enclosed in your communication, is at 
your request herewith returned. 

The letter of Mr. Colby of 20th July, 1843, referred to in 
Mr. Hopkins' despatch No. 10, was not communicated to Con- 
gress at its last session, because it was not on file in the Depart- 
ment, and for that reason it does not appear with the other 
papers relating to this case in Senate Document No. 64, of the 
1st session of 30th Congress. 

It w^ould be desirable for the Agent to place himself in 
direct correspondence with Mr. Hopkins in reference to this 
claim; and any letters he may see fit to address to him I will 
most cheerfully transmit to our Legation at Lisbon. 

I am. Sir, &c., 

James Buchanan. 



TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE.^ 

Department of State, 
Washington, December 12, 1848. 
Sir: Agreeably to the act of Congress of March 2, 1819, 
regulating passenger ships and vessels, I have the honor to 
communicate, herewith, tabular statements showing the number 
and designation of passengers w^ho arrived in each collection 
district of the United States during the year ending September 



^ MSS. Department of State, zi Domestic Letters, 70. 
^H. Ex. Doc. 10, 30 Cong. 2 Sess. i. 



262 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

30, 1848, compiled from the returns made to this department by 
the collectors, in conformity with the provisions of said act. 
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 
To THE Honorable Speaker of the House of 
Representatives. 



TO M. POUSSIN.^ 



Department of State, 

Washington, 13th Deer., 1848. 
Mr. William Tell Poussin, 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

I have the honor of transmitting to you a note which I 
have received from the vSecretary of War, of the 12th instant, 
with a duplicate copy of his communication of the nth instant, 
made by direction of the President to Brevet Brigadier General 
William S. Harney, of the United States Army, censuring that 
officer for his conduct in causing a degrading punishment to be 
inflicted, without trial, in the city of Mexico, upon Marie 
Courtine, a French citizen. 

I am also directed by the President to express to you his 
sincere regret at this unfortunate occurrence; and to assure you 
of his desire, upon all occasions, not only to do justice to the 
citizens of the French Republic, but to act towards them in that 
spirit of kindness which he trusts may ever characterize the 
intercourse between the two Republics, bound together as they 
are by bonds of the most intimate friendship. 

Feeling assured, from the result of our recent conferences, 
that the action of the President in the case of General Harney 
will prove satisfactory to yourself and the Government of the 
great Republic which you so worthily represent, I remain, with 
sentiments of the highest consideration, yours very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 



^MSS. Department of State, Notes to French Legation, VI. 121. 



1848] TO MR. SHIELDS 263 

TO MR. CAMPBELL.^ 

Dept. of State, Deer. 14, 1848. 
Sir : I take pleasure in acknowledging the receipt of your 
letter of the 4th inst. announcing the unconditional release from 
imprisonment of Wm. H. Bush, & his departure from Havana 
for New York; and have again to assure you, that your course 
in regard to his case is fully approved. 

I am Sir, &c., 

James Buchanan. 
R. B. Campbell, Esq. 
U. S. Consul, Havana. 



TO MR. SHIELDS.' 

(No. 28.) Department of State, 

Washington, 15th December, 1848. 
To B. G. Shields, Esquire, 

&c. &c. &c. 
Sir: 

Your despatches to No. 74, inclusive, have been received. 
Your request for leave of absence for six months has been sub- 
mitted to the President, who, considering the zeal and ability 
with which you have devoted yourself to the duties of your 
mission, and the strong reasons which require your presence in 
the United States, has determined to grant your request. This 
is done upon the confident assurance which the President feels, 
that you will not avail yourself of this permission unless the 
business of your Legation should be in such a condition that the 
public interest would not suffer during your absence, and that, 
should events occurring after your departure demand your 
presence in Caracas, you will then return immediately to your 
duties. 

On leaving Venezuela, you will be careful to place the books 
and archives of the Legation in safe and proper hands. 

In a note to me of the 9th instant, Mr. Acevedo announced 
his arrival in this City. On the 12th, by appointment, he pre- 



^MSS. Department of State, Despatches to Consuls, X. 496; S. Ex. 
Doc. 33, 30 Cong. 2 Sess. 19. 

* MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Venezuela, I. j^i. 



264 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

sented his credentials, and I yesterday introduced him to the 
President. The remarks whicli he made upon the occasion and 
the President's reply are contained in the Union herewith trans- 
mitted. He has not yet in any way disclosed the special objects 
of his mission. 

I am, Sir, very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan, 



TO MR. BANCROFT.^ 

No. 44. Department of State, 

Washington, i8th Deer., 1848. 
Sir : The President has directed me to express to you his 
approbation of your able, persevering, and successful efforts to 
obtain the release of Mr. James Bergen and Mr. Richard F. 
Ryan, the two American citizens imprisoned in Newgate, Dublin, 
under the Act of the British Parliament of 25th July last [nth 
and 1 2th Victoria, Cap. 35] upon suspicion of treasonable prac- 
tices against the British Government. You have correctly 
designated this act as " thoroughly arbitrary " and " utterly 
despotic." It not only suspends the habeas corpus act — a meas- 
ure wbich our own Congress possess the power, under the 
constitution, to adopt, " when in cases of rebellion or invasion 
the public safety may require it," but it deprives the unfortunate 
objects of government suspicion even of the small protection 
against unjust imprisonment which a previous ex parte accusa- 
tion, under oath or affirmation, would afford. If the individual 
be merely suspected of " high treason or treasonable practices," 
by any of the agents of the Irish Government, a warrant signed 
by six members of the Privy Council, or by the Lord Lieutenant 
or Chief Secretary, is of itself sufficient to commit him to prison, 
" without bail or mainprize." He is thus doomed to a dreary 
imprisonment, without even the melancholy satisfaction of know- 
ing the specific nature of the crime with which he is charged. 
If this law, arbitrary and despotic as it is, had been carried 
into execution in the same impartial manner against the citizens 
and subjects of all foreign nations, this Government, especially 
after the release of Messrs. Bergen and Ryan, might have 



^MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Great Britain, XV. 272>\ H. 
Ex. Doc. 19, 30 Cong. 2 Sess. 26. 



1848] TO MR. BANCROFT 265 

submitted in silence. But it appears that an invidious and 
offensive distinction has been made against American citizens in 
executing its provisions. They have been placed in a worse and 
more degrading condition than those of any other nation. They 
have been singled out from the rest of the world, and " all per- 
sons coming from America," from this fact alone, and without 
any other evidence, have been subjected by the Government of 
Ireland, acting of course under the authority of that of Great 
Britain, in the language of the law% to the " suspicion of high 
treason or treasonable practices." The exercise of a wise dis- 
cretion is more necessary in the execution of a despotic law than 
with regard to any other enactment; yet the Irish Government 
has entirely relieved itself from this duty, by declaring in advance 
that " all persons coming from America," without exception, 
shall be imprisoned under this law. To have come from 
America to Ireland is conclusive evidence to doom the traveller 
for pleasure, the man of business, and all others, to its penalties ; 
and this, too, without having received any previous warning. 

Such is the character of the printed order of the 2d August, 
1848, to which you refer in your note to Lord Palmerston of the 
loth November, as " secretly issued and circulated in Ireland, 
directing the arrest of all persons coming from America, the 
examination of their baggage, papers, and persons, and their 
detention in imprisonment. No authority was given to set free 
Americans thus arrested, even when it was admitted by the 
officer making the arrest that no ground whatever, even of 
suspicion, existed." 

It does appear from the letter of your Irish correspondent 
of September 7th, 1848, that " on the i8th August, 1848, this 
order was modified, so as to limit the arrest and incarceration, 
seizure and search, to returned emigrants, and to those Americans 
against w^hom there may exist suspicion. If nothing should be 
found to warrant such suspicion, these latter were to be liberated, 
but watched." 

The distinction thiis in effect drawn between naturalized and 
native American citizens is invidious and unjust. Our obligation 
to protect both these classes is, in all respects, equal. We can 
recognize no difference between the one and the other, nor can 
we permit this to be done by any foreign Government, without 
protesting and remonstrating against it in the strongest tenns. 
The subjects of other countries who from choice have abandoned 
their native land, and, accepting the invitation which our laws 



266 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

present, have emigrated to the United States and become Amer- 
ican citizens, are entitled to the very same rights and privileges 
as if they had been born in the country. To treat them in a 
different manner would be a violation of our plighted faith, as 
well as of our solemn duty. 

The President has, therefore, directed me to instruct you 
to protest, in the most solemn and earnest manner which official 
propriety will warrant, against the orders of the Irish Govern- 
ment issued on the 2d and i8th of August last, and against the 
arbitrary and offensive distinction which they make between 
our citizens and the citizens and subjects of other nations, and 
also between our native and naturalized citizens. The liberation 
of Messrs. Bergen and Ryan, without trial, the only American 
citizens known by the Department to have been imprisoned 
luider this act, affords evidence almost equal to demonstration 
that no reasonable cause existed for these orders. The form 
and language of this protest, with the present despatch as a 
general guide, is submitted altogether to your own discretion. 

Your despatches to No. 104 have been received. 

I am, Sir, respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 
George Bancroft, Esqre., &c., &c., &c. 



TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE.^ 

Department of State, 
Washington, December 18, 1848. 
Sir: Agreeably to the act of March 2, 1799, I have the 
honor to communicate an abstract of the returns made to this 
department by the collectors of customs, pursuant to the act of 
May 28, 1796, for the relief and protection of American seamen, 
showing the number of seamen registered in the several ports 
of entry of the United States during the year ending 30th 
September, 1848. 

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 
To the Honorable Speaker 

OF THE House of Representatives. 



^ H. Ex. Doc. 15, 30 Cong. 2 Sess. i. 



1848] TO MR. DONELSON 267 

TO MR. DONELSON.^ 

(No. 24.) Department of State, 

Washington, i8th December, 1848. 
Andrew J. Donelson, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

Commodore Foxhall A. Parker, of the United States Navy, 
will leave New York for Bremen on the 20th Instant, with direc- 
tions to communicate with you on the subject of the application 
of the Central Government of Germany for the aid of an officer 
of our Navy in the construction and establishment of a German 
Navy. 

Commodore Parker, as you are aware, is one of our most 
skilful and distinguished naval officers. He has had long and 
great experience in his profession; and though somewhat ad- 
vanced in years, he still retains all the vigor of manhood. In 
examining the bright roll of our naval officers, he was believed 
to be as well if not better qualified than any other for the 
peculiar service of aiding Germany in establishing a Navy. 

The Commodore has no idea of engaging in any foreign 
service, if by this he should be deprived of his Commission in 
the American Navy. He will proceed to Germany, upon leave 
of absence from the Secretary of the Navy, for two months, for 
the purpose of consulting with the authorities at Frankfort, and 
ascertaining what will be the conditions of the service required. 
If he should find these can be satisfactorily arranged, it is believed 
that Congress, by a general Resolution, would enable the Presi- 
dent to designate officers for naval service to Germany, without 
depriving them of their rank and position in the American Navy. 
I hope all may be satisfactorily arranged, as it is the sincere and 
ardent desire of the President to afford every aid in his power 
to the Central Government in establishing a Navy. 

Baron Roenne still remains in New York, and has not yet 
visited Washington. In a private letter, under date of the i6th 
Instant, he informs me that he has not yet received his credentials 
as Minister Plenipotentiary of the Central Government of Ger- 
many, but expects to receive than by one of the next Steamers. 
Without these, he believes he would be placed in an awkward 
predicament, should he make his appearance in Washington. 



^ MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Prussia, XIV. 143. 



268 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

Your despatches from 97 to 104, inclusive, and Mr. Fay's 
letter of the 17th October last, have been received. 
I am, Sir, respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. CLIFFORD.^ 

(No. 8.) Department of State, 

Washington, 22nd December, 1848. 
To Nathan Clifford, Esquire, 

&c. &c. &c. 
Sir: 

I transmit a copy of a letter of yesterday addressed to this 
Department by the Secretary of War, on the subject of collec- 
tions made at Matamoros between the 30th of May, last, the 
date of the exchange of ratifications of the Treaty of Peace 
with the Mexican Republic, and the time of the surrender of the 
Custom House there to authorities of that Republic; and also a 
copy of a letter of the same date from the Secretary of the 
Navy, relative to collections within the same period at the 
enemy's ports on the Pacific occupied by our naval forces. The 
President having authorized the payment to the Mexican Govern- 
ment of the sums thus collected, you will draw for them in the 
manner specified in the letters referred to. On making payment 
to the proper Mexican authority, you will take therefor receipts 
in triplicate, one of which may be retained in the archives of the 
Legation. The other two you will transmit to this City, one to 
be filed in this Department and the other to serve as a voucher 
at the War or Navy Department, as the case may be. 

The account which accompanies the copy of the letter of the 
Secretary of War will enable you to comply with the stipulation 
of the Treaty upon the subject in regard to Matamoros, and it is 
vmderstood that the files of the Legation will enable you to state 
similar accounts with reference to Mazatlan and Guaymas. 

You will make any explanations to the Mexican Government 
which may be necessary satisfactorily to account for the failure 
on our part to make these payments within the time required by 
the Treaty. 

The President has nominated to the Senate Ambrose H. 



^MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Mexico, XVI. 116. 



1848] TO MR. CLIFFORD 269 

Sevier of Arkansas as Commissioner and Andrew, B. Gray of 
Texas as Surveyor, under the 5th Article of our Treaty with 
Mexico, to run and mark the boundary Hne between the two 
Repubhcs. As soon as these nominations shall be confirmed by 
the Senate, suitable officers of our Topographical Corps of 
Engineers will be designated to accompany the Commissioner 
and Surveyor and to take charge of the scientific department of 
the work. No time will be lost in making the necessary prepara- 
tions for the meeting of the Commissioners at San Diego on or 
before the 30th May, next. 

The fifth article provides that '' the two Governments will 
amicably agree regarding what may be necessary to these persons 
[the Commissioners and Surveyors] and also as to their re- 
spective escorts should such be necessary." 

The Mexican Government will doubtless send scientific 
engineers with their Commissioner and Surveyor, and it is proper 
you should inform the Mexican Minister for Foreign Affairs 
that such is the intention of the President, and have an amicable 
understanding with the Mexican authorities on this subject. An 
escort will also undoubtedly be necessai*y for the security of both 
parties against attacks of hostile Indians, and you might agree 
with them that each part}^ may send an escort not exceeding 
one hundred men. It is believed that this number will be re- 
quired. The President desires that this affair may be arranged 
by you with the Mexican Government in the most frank and 
friendly manner. 

The Committee of Ways and Means of the House of 
Representatives yesterday reported a Bill appropriating the sums 
necessarv^ for the payment of the instalments with the interest'^ 
which will be due under the 12th Article of the Mexican Treaty, 
on the 30th May, 1849, ^^'^^ ^^ the 30th May, 1850. This 
Bill, beyond all doubt, "will pass, and it is presumed that after 
it becomes a law, of which you shall have the earliest notice, the 
Mexican Government, should their situation render this ex- 
pedient, will have no difficulty in immediately realising the 
amount from capitalists upon advantageous terms. 

I am also directed to inform you that should Mr. de la Rosa, 
in behalf of his government, request that the instalment which 
will become due on the 30th May, next, shall be paid immediately, 
(which you have informed me is one object of his mission) the 
President will apply to Congress for authority to enable him to 
comply with this request. He will thus afford evidence of his 



270 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1848 

earnest desire to cultivate the most kind and friendly relations 
'with the Mexican Republic. 
I am, Sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO THE PRESIDENT/ 

Department of State, 
Washington, 27th December, 1848. 
The Secretary of State, to whom has been referred the 
resolution of the House of Representatives of the nth Instant, 
requesting the President to inform that Body '' whether he has 
received any information that American citizens have been im- 
prisoned or arrested by British authorities in Ireland; and, if 
so, what have been the causes thereof, and what steps have been 
taken for their release; and if not, in his opinion, inconsistent 
with the public interest, to furnish this House with copies of all 
correspondence in relation thereto '' — has the honor to report 
the accompanying copies of papers from the files of this 
Department. 

All which is respectfully submitted. 

James Buchanan. 
To the President of the United States. 



TO MR. MANN. 



Department of State, 
Washington, December 27th, 1848. 
Hon. Horace Mann, 

House of Representatives. 
Sir: 

Your letter of the 19th instant, to the Secretary of the 
Treasury, enclosing one from Samuel P. Loud, Esq., making cer- 
tain enquiries relative to an award in favor of the late William 
Oliver, on the books of the Commissioners under the Convention 



^MSS. Department of State, Report Book, VI. 274; H. Ex. Doc. 19, 
30 Cong. 2 Sess. 2. This report was on the same day communicated by 
President Polk to the House. 

*MSS. Department of State, 37 Domestic Letters, 83. 



1848] TO M. POUSSIN 271 

with Spain of 1834, has been referred to this Department. In 
reply to the enquiries contained in Mr. Loud's letter, I have to 
state that no part of the principal under the Convention has yet 
been paid by the Spanish Government. By an arrangement, 
however, between this Government and that of Spain, made in 
1841, the latter agreed to pay the interest annually, (including 
arrears of interest,) through this Department. The sums stated 
by Mr. Loud to have been received by Mr. Oliver in his lifetime, 
and by his executors since his death, were for interest ; and there 
are now two instalments of interest which appear to be due on 
Certificate No. no, (according to Mr. Loud's account,) which 
will be paid on the presentation of the certificate at the Merchants' 
Bank in New York, where any further information that may be 
needed may be obtained. 

This Government is not in any way bound for the payment 
of either principal or interest provided for under the above 
mentioned Convention. 

Mr. Loud's letter is at your request returned. 
I am, &c., 

James Buchanan. 



TO M. POUSSIN.^ 



Department of State, 

Washington, 28th Dec, 1848. 
Mr. William Tell Poussin, 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

I have the honor to inform you that, in accordance with the 
request contained in your note of the 26th instant, the act of the 
President recognizing Mr. A. C. Lataillade as Consular Agent of 
France at Monterey, Upper California, has this day been sent 
with his commission to the Consul General of the French Republic 
at New York. 

I avail myself of the opportunity to renew to you. Sir, the 
assurance of my high consideration. 

James Buchanan. 



*MSS. Department of State, Notes to French Legation, VI. 122. 



272 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

1849. 
MESSAGE OF PRESIDENT POLK 

ON A POSTAL CONVENTION WITH GREAT BRITAIN, i 

[January 4, 1849.] 
To THE Senate of the United States : 

I transmit to the Senate, for their consideration and advice with regard 
to its ratification, a convention between the United States of America and 
the Government of Her Britannic Majesty, for the improvement of the 
communication by post between their respective territories, concluded and 
signed at London on the 15th December last, together with an explanatory 
despatch from our minister at that Court. 
Washington, 4th January, 1849. James K. Polk. 



TO MR. CASS/ 



Department of State, 

Washington, 6th January, 1849. 
To Lewis Cass, Esqre., 

Appointed Charge d' Affaires of 

the United States to the Papal States. 
Sir : The President, by and with the advice and consent of 
the Senate, having appointed you Charge d' Affaires of the United 
States to the Papal States, your Commission is, herewith, trans- 
mitted. 

I am. Sir, very respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. SLEMONS.' 

Department of State, 

Washington, Jany. 6th, 1849. 
Thomas W. Slemons Esqre. 

U. S. Consul, Matamoros. 
Sir, 

Your despatches Nos. i, 2, 3, & 6, and two, not numbered, 
dated Oct. 26th and November 12th, 1848, have been received. 



^ Senate Executive Journal, VIII. 16. 

^MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Papal States, I. 8. 

^MSS. Department of State, Despatches to Consuls, XIII. 130. 



1849] TO MR. SLEMONS 273 

Nos. 4 & 5 not having come to hand, you will please transmit 
duplicates of them. 

In reply to your number 3, upon the subject of American 
Shipping clearing for the Port of Matamoros with debenture 
goods, and re-shipping such goods at the mouth of the Rio Grande 
for that port, I have to state, that I perceive nothing in it calling 
for any action upon our part. If debenture goods exported to 
Matamoros are actually carried there, and the legal evidence of 
the fact produced, the Exporter would be entitled to have his 
export bond cancelled. The fact that the goods were put into a 
Steamboat or Lighter at the Mouth of the Rio Grande, to be 
conveyed to Matamoros as their place of destination, and were 
actually so conveyed, and landed without the limits of the United 
States, would not impair the rights of the Exporter. Your 
enquiry whether Vessels shall be allowed to re-ship at the Brazos 
for Matamoros, without entering or clearing at the latter port, 
would seem to involve a question under the Revenue Laws of 
Mexico, with which we of course have nothing to do. 

In respect to the Tobacco entered at Matamoros during its 
occupation by our Troops, and which was not allowed, subsequent 
to the ratification of the Treaty, to be removed into any part of 
the interior of Mexico, I have to inform you that the Mexican 
Treasury Department, in a Circular, under date the 22nd July 
last, has directed the Custom Houses at Vera Cruz, Tampico, 
Matamoros, Guaymas, and Mazatlan, to carry into effect the 
stipulation of the Treaty in regard to all articles, including 
Tobacco, imported whilst those ports were in the Military pos- 
session of the United States. I am sorry to inform you, that 
notwithstanding this Circular, numerous complaints have been 
made to this Government, of the non-fulfilment on the part of 
that of Mexico, of the 19th Article of the Treaty. Strong de- 
mands have been and will continue to be made upon the Mexican 
Government, thro' our Minister, Mr. Clifford, for the faithful 
observance of that Article. In the mean time, as suggested in 
your despatch, you will please transmit promptly to Mr. Clifford 
the Protests of our Citizens against any violation of the Articles 
of the Treaty by the Mexican Authorities. 

A copy of your despatch, dated 12th November, 1848, upon 
the subject of establishing a port of entry at some convenient 
point near the Mouth of the Rio Grande, has been referred to the 
Secretary of the Treasury. 

Instructions were given on the i8th of October last, to the 

Vol. VIII— 18 



274 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

Agent of the Department at New York, to forward to you by the 
earliest opportunity a flag and the Arms of the United States. 

I am, Sir, &c. 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. BANCROFT.^ 

(No. 45.) Department of State^ 

Washington, 8th Jany., 1849. 
George Bancroft, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

The Senate of the United States having given its constitu- 
tional advice and consent to the Postal Convention between the 
United States and Great Britain, concluded and signed at London 
on the 15th ultimo, the President has ratified it on the part of 
this Government, and I now transmit to you the American ratifi- 
cation, to be exchanged against that of Her Britannic Majesty. 
You will accordingly upon the receipt of this despatch inform Her 
Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs that 
the Convention has been ratified by this Government, and that 
you are, as you will perceive by the special power which is here- 
with enclosed, authorized to exchange the ratifications with such 
person as may be duly empowered for that purpose on the part 
of the British Government. A form of a certificate of exchange 
which may be used on the occasion is also enclosed for your 
convenience. As soon as this exchange shall take place, it is 
desirable that you should forward, without unnecessary delay, the 
British ratification to the United States, by the ordinary con- 
veyance. 

Should the negotiations to carry into effect the 12th article 
of this Convention be conducted at London, the President has 
determined to confide them to you, exclusively ; but should they be 
transferred to Paris, then it is his desire that Mr. Rush shall be 
associated with you. In the latter event, you will necessarily visit 
Paris ; and your travelling expenses, with those incident to your 
sojourn there, will be allowed in the settlement of your accounts. 
I herewith communicate the President's full power, authorizing 
yourself and Mr. Rush, or either of you, to conduct and conclude 



*MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Great Britain, XV. 377. 



1849] TO MR. DONELSON 275 

the negotiations with Great Britain and France referred to in the 
1 2th article of the Convention, together with the instructions of 
the Postmaster General. 

I need scarcely add that the President is highly gratified 
with the zeal, energy, and ability which you have displayed in 
bringing the postal arrangement with Great Britain to a success- 
ful conclusion. 

I am. Sir, respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. DONELSON.^ 

(No. 25.) Department of State, 

Washington, 8th January, 1849. 
Andrew J. Donelson, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

I have now to acknowledge the receipt of your despatches to 
No. 107, inclusive; the three last on the 3rd Instant. 

Baron Roenne still remains in New York, and has not visited 
Washington since his arrival in this Country. I have not heard 
from him since the i6th December last, the date of a ''private 
and informal " letter which he addressed to me, to which I 
referred in my last despatch; and presume from that letter that 
he is still awaiting the arrival of his credentials as Minister Plen- 
ipotentiary of the Central Government of Germany. Besides, he 
will most probably not present himself in this character without 
the consent of the Prussian Government; although he does not 
mention this as a cause of the delay. 

In answer to your No. 107, I have to state, that I can not 
perceive that the arrest of a seaman of an American vessel for 
debt, " while on duty in the cooking-house on shore at Bremer- 
haven," is a violation of any of the Articles of our Treaties with 
the Hanseatic Republics; and there is certainly no principle of 
public law which would exempt him from such an arrest. It is 
usual for the master or consignee in our ports to caution the 
public against giving credit to the seamen of foreign vessels; 
but unquestionably if one of these were indebted to an American 
Citizen, no power exists in this Government to shield him from 



^ MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Prussia, XIV. 144. 



276 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

the process of law to recover the debt. I cannot beUeve that the 
Government of Bremen would give the least countenance to such 
arrests; and you might suggest to them, that it would be an act 
of friendship on their part to adopt means to prevent American 
seamen from incurring debts within their territory. We have 
done much to increase and extend our trade with Bremen; and 
the authorities there will doubtless do all in their power to dis- 
courage such arrests. 

I am, Sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. DYER.^ 



Department of State, 

Washington, 8th January, 1849. 
Leon Dyer, Esq., 

Baltimore. 
Sir: 

I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 6th 
instant, inquiring whether a party of citizens of the United States 
who propose to proceed to California by the way of Vera Cruz, 
Mexico, and Mazatlan, can claim a right to bear arms in self- 
defence whilst passing through Mexican territory. In reply I 
have to state that the Department is not informed in regard to 
the municipal regulations of the Mexican Republic upon the sub- 
ject, but if such a right can be claimed by any foreigners, that 
Government is bound by treaty to extend it equally to our citizens. 
A copy of the Treaty is herewith transmitted, and you are re- 
ferred to its 3d article. It is proper to remark, however, that 
Mexicans have always shown great jealousy in regard to the 
entrance of armed citizens of the U. S. into or their transit 
across territory of that Republic, and it is doubtful if this feeling 
has been diminished by the late war. Passports from this Depart- 
ment ought to be sufficient for the protection of the gentlemen to 
whom you refer, but as they are in English, it might be advisable 
to obtain others from the Mexican Consul at Baltimore, or to 
have those from the Department countersigned by him. 

I am. Sir, etc., 

James Buchanan. 

^MSS. Department of State, Z1 Domestic Letters, 88. 



1849] TO MR. RUSH 277 

TO MR. RUSH.^ 

(No. 31.) Department of State, 

Washington, Jany. 8th, 1849. 
Richard Rush, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

I enclose you a copy of a Postal Convention concluded with 
Great Britain on the 15th December last, which was ratified by 
the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, 
on the 6th instant. A ratified copy of this convention will be 
sent to Mr. Bancroft by the steamer on the loth instant, and the 
exchange of ratifications will doubtless be made immediately on 
its arrival in London. 

You will perceive from the 12th article of this Convention, 
that '' the two contracting parties agree to invite France to enter 
into communication with them, without loss of time, in order to 
effect such arrangements for the conveyance of letters and news- 
papers, and closed mails, through the territories of the United 
Kingdom, of the United States, and of France, respectively, as 
may be most conducive to the interests of the three countries." 

In concluding this Postal Convention with Great Britain, 
Mr. Bancroft has encountered difficulties at every step, and the 
negotiation has been protracted and perplexing. From this cause, 
that gentleman has made himself master of the whole subject, and 
all the necessary papers are in possession of his Legation. Under 
these circumstances, the President has determined to confide to 
him, exclusively, the negotiation of the arrangements under the 
1 2th article of the Convention, should this be conducted in 
London. Should the negotiation, however, be transferred to 
Paris, he has deemed it proper that you should be associated with 
Mr. Bancroft. With this view, a full power has been prepared 
for that gentleman and yourself, or either of you, which has 
been transmitted to him; and he has been instructed, in the latter 
event, to act jointly with yourself. The instructions of the Post- 
master General on the subject have also been transmitted to Mr. 
Bancroft. You are, therefore, requested, should the negotiation 
take place in Paris, to exert your best efforts, in conjunction with 
Mr. Bancroft, to bring it to a favorable conclusion. 

I am. Sir, respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



^ MSS. Department of State, Instructions, France, XV. 80. 



278 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

TO MISS LANE/ 

Washington, 8 January, 1849. 
My dear Harriet/ 

You have acted wisely in controlling your inclinations & 
remaining at home. This act of self restraint has raised you in 
my estimation. Let nothing divert you from your purpose. 

Washington now begins to be gay. Mrs. Walker is at home 
to-night,— the first assembly will be held to-morrow evening. 
Mrs. Polk gives a drawing room on Wednesday evening; & on 
Thursday evening Miss Harris will be married & there will be a 
party at Captain McCauley's at the Navy Yard. I now give 
dinners myself once a week. I rarely go out to evening parties. 
I have had my day of such amusement & have enjoyed it. Yours 
is just commencing & I hope it may be a happy one. I dare say 
Mr. Sullivan ^ will be inconsolable when he learns that you will 
not be here during the present winter. 

I wish now to give you a caution. Never allow your affec- 
tions to become interested or engage yourself to any person with- 
out my previous advice. You ought never to marry any man to 
whom you are not attached; but you ought never to marry any 
person who is not able to afford you a decent & immediate support. 
In my experience, I have witnessed the long years of patient 
misery & dependence which fine women have endured from rush- 
ing precipitately into matrimonial connexions without sufficient 
reflection. Look ahead & consider the future & act wisely in 
this particular. 

Mrs. Pleasonton of Philadelphia left here on Saturday morn- 
ing last. I saw her & her two daughters on Friday evening. 
They all inquired for you very affectionately ; and the Pleasontons 
of this city are, I believe, sincerely anxious that you should pass 
some time with them. At a proper period you may enjoy this 
pleasure. 

James informs me that he & his family intend boarding 
with Mrs. Jenkins. I am sorry he has so determined; but he 
knows his own business best. Personally it will suit my con- 
venience. 

It may be that I shall not reach Lancaster until the first of 



* Buchanan Papers, private collection. Imperfectly printed in Curtis's 
Buchanan, I. 542, 

^Curtis says: "John Sullivan, Esq., an Irish gentleman of advanced 
years, long a resident of Washington, famous for his good dinners." 



1849] TO MR. BANCROFT 279 

April, as I have some business to attend to here which may- 
require a fortnight or three weeks after I shall be relieved from 
office. When I reach there I shall be happy to have you with 
me. 

Yours affectionately, 

James Buchanan. 
Miss Harriet Lane. 

P. S. — Give my love to Mary & all the rest. 



TO MR. BANCROFT.^ 

(No. 46.) Department of State, 

Washington, 9th Jany., 1849. 
George Bancroft, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

You will doubtless observe, on examining your American 
newspapers, that the postal convention with Great Britain, of 
15th December last, and your several despatches to me, num- 
bered 106, 107, and 108, relating to the same subject, are pub- 
lished at length in the " Union " of this morning. This has been 
done without the knowledge or sanction of this Department or 
of the Postmaster General, by an Assistant in his office. The 
error, probably one of inadvertence, is deeply to be regretted; 
but it is now too late to obviate the evils to which the premature 
publication of these papers, particularly that of the 12th Decem- 
ber, may lead. 

I am. Sir, respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



^ MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Great Britain, XV. 378. 



280 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

TO MR. CRAMPTON/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 9th Jany., 1849. 
John F. Crampton, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the letter 
which, in pursuance of instructions from Her Majesty's Govern- 
ment, you addressed to me on the 226. ultimo, communicating to 
this Department copies of certain documents which accompanied 
a despatch received by Her Majesty's Government from the 
British Consul General for the Pacific Islands, relative to the 
proceedings of certain American citizens towards the occupants 
of the Hudson's Bay Company's establishments in the Oregon 
Territory; and expressing the confident hope of Her Majesty's 
Government that the Government of the United States will take 
proper steps for preventing a recurrence of the lawless proceed- 
ings described in these papers. 

You are doubtless aware that towards the close of the last 
session of Congress an act was passed by that body — approved 
by the President on the 14th day of August, 1848 — entitled " an 
act to establish the Territorial Government of Oregon." In 
virtue of certain provisions of this law, measures were imme- 
diately instituted for the organization of a Government in that 
country, under the authority of the United States, by the appoint- 
ment, on the part of the Executive, of a Governor and Secretary, 
a Chief Justice and Associates, an Attorney, a Marshal, &c., &c. 
These officers were apprized of the necessity of proceeding to 
their posts without unnecessary delay; and, with the exception 
of Governor Lane, who it is presumed has already reached 
Oregon, are now on their journey thither, to enter upon the dis- 
charge of their official functions. Their arrival at their destina- 
tion will be promptly followed by the establishment of a new 
Government, upon a firmer and safer basis than that upon which 
the provisional Government rested; and will, it is trusted, be 
productive of the happiest effects as respects the observance of 
law and order on the part of the inhabitants of the territory. 

Sincerely regretting that difficulties of any kind should have 
arisen between citizens of the United States and subjects of Her 



^ MSS. Department of State, Notes to Great Britain, VII. 192. 



1849] TO MR. WINTHROP 281 

Majesty residing in Oregon, I cannot but hope that those to which 
you refer have ere this time been obviated; and I feel confident 
in the opinion that after the estabhshment of the new order of 
things in that distant region — an event now on the eve of accom- 
pHshment — great care will be exercised by the territorial author- 
ities to cultivate the most friendly feelings with the resident 
subjects of Her Majesty, and sedulously to avoid giving them 
any just cause of complaint. 

I avail myself of this occasion to renew to you, Sir, the 
assurance of my high consideration. 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR WINTHROP.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, January lo, 1849. 
The Secretary of State, in obedience to the act to regulate 
and fix the compensation of clerks in the different offices, approved 
on the 20th of April, 1818, and to the nth section of an ''act 
legalizing and making appropriations for such necessary objects 
as have usually been included in the general appropriation bills 
without authority of law, and to fix and provide for certain inci- 
dental expenses of the departments and offices, and for other 
purposes," approved on the 26th of August, 1842, respectfully 
reports the accompanying statements, (A, B, C, and D,) contain- 
ing, in addition to the information required by those acts, that 
called for by a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 
13th of January, 1846. 

The services of the clerks permanently employed under 
existing laws could not be dispensed with without injury to the 
public interest. 

James Buchanan. 
Hon. R. C. Winthrop, 

Speaker of the House of Representatives. 



H. Ex. Doc. 30, 30 Cong. 2 Sess. i. 



282 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

TO MR. WALKER/ 

Department of State, 
Washington, nth January, 1849. 
Hon. R. J. Walker, 

Secretary of the Treasury. 
Sir: 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter 
of yesterday, with the papers therein referred to, and in reply to 
state, that this Department is not in possession of any information 
to the effect that discriminating duties of impost are now charged 
on the cargoes of vessels of the United States in the ports of the 
Oriental Republic of Uruguay. From the subjoined statement, 
however, taken from a letter under date the 17th July, 1842, 
addressed to this Department by Mr. R. M. Hamilton, U. S. 
Consul at Monte Video, it appears that discriminating tonnage 
duties and port charges to the advantage of national vessels of 
that Republic were then levied in its ports, and the Department 
has not been informed that the discriminations have yet been 
removed. 

The documents which accompanied your communication 
are herewith returned. 

I have the honor to be, Sir, very respectfully, 
Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. MARCY.^ 



Department of State, 
Washington, nth January, 1849. 
Hon. William L. Marcy, 

Secretary of War. 
Sir: 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt, yesterday, of 
your letter of the 5th Inst, on the subject of the 28 claims of 
alleged Spanish subjects for losses suffered in Mexico by the 
American Forces, which have been presented by Mr. Calderon 
to this Government. With your letter came also, returned, the 
Minister's note of the i6th September last, and the various docu- 



^MSS. Department of State, 2>1 Domestic Letters, 91. 
*MSS. Department of State, yj Domestic Letters, 133. 



1849] TO MR. TOD 283 

ments that accompanied it in illustration of the cases in question, 
and a communication to you of 15th November last from Brevet 
Major General Persifor F. Smith, in relation to these causes of 
complaint which had been submitted to him, embracing his report 
upon all the cases, with the exception of those classed as Numbers 
I & 2. 

Before transmitting to the Spanish Minister a copy of your 
communication and Genl. Smith's report, I have to call your 
attention to the two cases of omission above referred to, and to 
solicit your decision upon them. 

I had the honor to submit to your Department several like 
cases presented to this Government by the same Minister, under 
the respective dates of the 21st September and i6th October, 1847, 
and the 17th & 31st July last, to which I beg leave at this time 
also to call your attention. 

Mr. Calderon has presented another series of complaints, 
which will be duly referred as soon as it may be possible to have 
translations made of the papers. 

This Department earnestly desires to have the necessary in- 
formation to enable it to make a final reply to all the cases which 
the Minister of Spain has urged upon it, many of which are 
manifestly both frivolous and unfounded. 

I am, Sir, &c., 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. TOD/ 



No. 13. Department of State, 

Washington, 12th January, 1849. 
To David Tod, Esquire, 

etc., etc., etc. 
Sir: — 

The Department has been officially informed by the Consul 
of the United States at Liverpool, that at the time of the destruc- 
tion by fire of the American ship Ocean Monarch, in August last, 
near that port, the Brazilian War Steamer Afifonzo, commanded 
by Joaquin Marques Lisboa, which happened to be within view 
of the disaster, hastened to the rescue of those on board the 
burning vessel and fortunately succeeded in saving a number of 



^MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Brazil, XV. 166. 



284 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

lives. In these humane exertions, Captain Lisboa was efficiently- 
aided by the Prince de Joinville, who was a guest on board the 
steamer. 

Being deeply and gratefully impressed with the conduct of 
Captain Lisboa, his officers and crew, and with that of the Prince 
de Joinville, upon the occasion adverted to, the President desires 
that you should, in an appropriate manner, express to the Bra- 
zilian Government his cordial acknowledgments therefor. 

Your despatches to No. 31, inclusive, have been received. 

I am, Sir, very respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



/ TO SENOR DE LA ROSA.^ 

Department of State, 
Washington, 13th January, 1849. 
To Senor Don Luis de la Rosa, 
&c. &c. &c. 

The Undersigned, Secretary of State of the United States, 
has had the honor to receive the note of Mr. de la Rosa, Envoy 
Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the Mexican 
Republic, of the 4th instant, representing that he had been in- 
structed to claim from this government the sum of seventy-four 
thousand one hundred and seventy-six dollars and eighty-eight 
cents, the amount collected at the Maritime Custom Houses at 
Matamoros, Mazatlan, and Guaymas, between the 30th of May, 
last, and the dates of the transfers of those Custom Houses to 
the Mexican authorities. 

The delay of this government to fulfil to the letter the 
promise contained in the third article of the Treaty of Guadalupe 
Hidalgo has been a source of regret, but has arisen from causes 
beyond its control, which probably were not anticipated at the 
time of the conclusion of the Treaty. The application of Mr. 
de la Rosa might have been complied with, if Mr. CliflFord had 
not previously been instructed to make the payment at Mexico, 
as the treaty requires. A copy of the instruction and of the 
papers which accompanied it is herewith communicated, agreeably 
to Mr. de la Rosa's request. From these it appears, that the net 
amount of the collections above mentioned was sixty-eight thou- 



MSS. Department of State, Notes to Mexican Legation, VI. 196. 



1849] TO MR. LOUGHEAD 285 

sand five hundred dollars and eighteen cents, which is less than 
that demanded by Mr. de la Rosa. If the difference shall have 
been occasioned by any mistake on the part of the officers of 
the United States who were charged with the collections, Mr. 
de la Rosa may be assured that, upon the exhibition of satisfactory 
proof, it shall be promptly corrected. 

The Undersigned avails himself of this occasion to offer to 
Mr. de la Rosa renewed assurances of his very high consideration. 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. LOUGHEAD.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, Jany. i6th, 1849. 

R. L. LoUGHEAD, ESQRE. 

U. S. C. Londonderry. 
Sir, 

In a letter addressed to the 5th Auditor, under date the 
25th Ulto: and by him referred to this Department, you state, 
" There are at present within my Consulate two American Vessels 
which were cast away some time back. These vessels have been 
purchased and repaired by British Subjects, who are now desirous 
to sell them again. Several Citizens of the U. States have applied 
to me with a view to ascertain whether they could become owners 
of the Vessels, and whether I could give papers to sail them to 
the U. States." In reply to your enquiry on that subject, I have 
to state, that such Vessels can never regain their American char- 
acter except by special Acts of Congress, and on their arrival 
in the U. States will be treated as Foreign Vessels. 

I am, Sir, &c. 

James Buchanan. 



MSS. Department of State, Despatches to Consuls, XII. 417. 



286 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

TO M. POUSSIN/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 17th Jany., 1849. 
Mr. William Tell Poussin, 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

I have had the honor to receive your note of the 27th 
ultimo, in which you especially commend to my attention the 
claim urged by the French Government against the United States 
in the case of the ship " la Jeune Nelly." 

The facts upon which this claim rests are clear and simple. 

On the 14th May, 1846, Commodore Conner, the command- 
ing officer of the Gulf Squadron, acting under the authority of 
the President of the United States, issued a proclamation declar- 
ing the port of Vera Cruz (amongst others) to be in a state of 
rigorous blockade by the ships and vessels under his command. 
From that day until the 29th March, 1847, when the city of 
Vera Cruz capitulated to the American arms, this blockade was 
at all times maintained by a naval force of stationary ships 
sufficient to render it dangerous for any vessel to enter. If some 
vessels succeeded in running the blockade, this was only because 
the alternate calms and violent storms which prevail in the Gulf 
rendered it impossible for the blockading squadron at all times 
to prevent vessels from entering and leaving the port. 

On the 19th January, 1847, ^^ter the blockade had con- 
tinued nearly eight months, and when its existence was known 
to all commercial nations, Mr. Dufaitelle despatched his vessel, 
" la Jeune Nelly," from the port of Havre to that of Vera Cruz. 
He himself acknowledges that when this vessel left Havre, he 
knew of the existence of the blockade. On the 13th March, 
1847, the "Jeune Nelly" arrived near Vera Cruz, and without 
enquiring whether the blockade still continued, she (it is believed 
for the third time) escaped the vigilance of the squadron, and 
entered the port in safety. Having remained in port seven days, 
she sailed from Vera Cruz, on the 20th March, 1847, bound to 
Carmen, when she was captured in again attempting to run the 
blockade. 

If the " Jeune Nelly " had been captured by the blockading 
squadron before she entered the port of Vera Cruz, the question 



*MSS. Department of State, Notes to French Legation, VI. 122. 



1849] TO M. POUSSIN 287 

presented by Mr. Pageot and yourself might then have arisen, 
whether such a capture would have been lawful, without the 
entry of a previous notice of the blockade on the log book of the 
vessel by one of the commanders of the squadron. As this ques- 
tion does not arise, it is sufficient for the present to say that I am 
not aware of any principle of the law of nations, or any usage 
between the United States and France, which requires this 
formality; and no treaty now exists or has ever existed between 
the parties rendering it obligatory. The Convention between the 
two Republics, of the 30th September, 1800, which expired in 
1808, although highly liberal in its character towards neutrals, 
does not require this formality. The 12th article of this Con- 
vention very justly secured from capture, until after previous 
notice, '' vessels who sail for a port or place belonging to an 
enemy, without knowing that the same is either besieged or 
blockaded ; " but even in this exceptional case, where vessels have 
left port ignorant of the existence of the blockade, no peculiar 
form or mode of notice was required. This article, also, secures 
to neutral vessels which had entered port previous to the institu- 
tion of the blockade a free egress from it with their cargoes. 
Indeed, it may be said that the article in its whole extent has 
become the settled policy of our country in regard to blockades, 
having since been substantially copied into several of our treaties. 
But it is unnecessary to discuss this question, because the 
Jeiine Nelly zvas captured, not zvhilst entering the blockaded port, 
hut in departing from it. Emboldened by past success, with a 
full knovvdedge of the actual blockade in which she herself was 
embraced, and of all the dangers she would certainly encounter 
in attempting to make her escape from Vera Cruz, invested as it 
then was, both by sea and land, by the American forces, she 
undertook to run the blockade outward, as she had successfully 
done when entering the port. Choosing the most favorable 
moment, when a severe norther was blowing, she voluntarily 
assumed the hazard ; and, if vShe has been captured in the attempt, 
her owner has no right to complain. On this point the law of 
nations cannot admit of doubt. Its principles are announced 
more clearly than I could express them by Sir William Scott, 
in delivering the opinion of the Court in the case of " the Vrouw 
Judith,'* (ist Robinson's Admiralty Reports, p. 151.) That 
eminent publicist says : '' Now, with respect to the matter of 
blockade, I must observe, that a blockade is just as much violated 
by a vessel passing outwards as inwards. A blockade is a sort 



288 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

of circumvallation round a place, by which all foreign connexion 
and correspondence is, as far as human force can effect it, to 
be entirely cut off. It is intended to suspend the entire com- 
merce of that place ; and a neutral is no more at liberty to assist 
the traffic of exportation than of importation. The utmost that 
can be allowed to a neutral vessel is, that having already taken 
on board a cargo before the blockade begins, she may be at 
liberty to retire with it. But it must be considered as a rule 
which this Court means to apply, that a neutral ship, departing, 
can only take away a cargo bona fide purchased and delivered 
before the commencement of the blockade; if she afterwards 
takes on board a cargo, it is a fraudulent act, and a violation of 
the blockade." 

But the very question arising in the case of the " Jeune 
Nelly " has been judicially decided, after full argument, by the 
United States District Court for Louisiana, a Prize Court of 
competent jurisdiction; and I now have the honor to transmit 
you a copy of the opinion of the learned Judge, extracted from 
the New Orleans Picayune, of the 14th December, 1847. You 
should have been informed of this opinion sooner; but until 
Saturday last I was not aware of its existence. I am entirely 
satisfied that the Court was correct in deciding that the " Jeune 
Nelly " was lawfully captured by our naval squadron, for violat- 
ing the blockade in her attempt to escape from the port of Vera 
Cruz. 

I avail myself of this opportunity to renew to you, Sir, the 
assurance of my high consideration. 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. MARCY.^ 



Department of State, 
Washington, 17th January, 1849. 
Hon. William L. Marcy, 

Secretary of War. 
Sir: 

Referring to my letter to you of the nth Inst, in answer 
to yours of the 5th inst. on the subject of certain claims presented 
to this Government by the Minister of Spain, on the behalf of 



* MSS. Department of State, 37 Domestic Letters, 134. 



1849] TO MR. DURANT 289 

alleged Spanish subjects residing in Mexico, during the late War, 
I have now the honor to communicate another note from the 
same Minister, dated on the 6th Ultimo, transmitting other claims 
of similar origin and character. The note is accompanied by an 
abstract of the cases now presented; and translations of the 
papers are also annexed. 

The original papers in illustration and explanation of these 
new cases are also herewith added. 

I am, Sir, &c. 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. DURANT.^ 

Department of State, 
Washington, i8th January, 1849. 
Thomas J. Durant, Esq. 

Atty U. S. for the District of Louisa., New Orleans. 
Sir: 

In the prize case of the French Ship '' La Jeune Nelly," 
tried in the United States District Court for Louisiana at the April 
Term, 1847, the Judge decided that this vessel was lawfully 
captured by our Naval Squadron before Vera Cruz for violating 
the blockade. It has been recently stated to me that an appeal 
from this decision w^as taken, and that some subsequent pro- 
ceedings were had in the case. I will be much obliged to you to 
make inquiry into this matter, and if any further proceedings are 
found to have taken place, to ascertain and report to me what 
they were, and the result. 

I am. Sir, &c. 

James Buchanan. 



MSS. Department of State, Z7 Domestic Letters, 96. 
Vol. VIII— 19 



290 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

TO MAJORS GRAHAM AND EMORY.^ 

Department of State, 
Washington City, 19th January, 1849. 

Gentlemen : You will receive herewith the list of instru- 
ments belonging to this Department, furnished by Major Graham 
on the 29th December last. 

Major Graham and Major Emory will proceed immediately 
to New York, and if they should deem it advisable to the other 
Cities where the instruments are deposited; and Major Graham, 
in whose custody they now are, will deliver such of them to 
Major Emory, the Chief of the Corps of Topographical En- 
gineers designated to accompany the Commissioner and Sur- 
veyor under the 5th Article of the late Treaty with Mexico, as 
he may deem necessary for correctly running and marking the 
Boundary Line between the two Republics, taking duplicate 
receipts for the same. Major Graham will deliver one of these 
receipts to the Department and preserve the other. 

Major Emory will then proceed at once to cause any or all 
of the instruments so delivered to him to be repaired, if need be, 
and fitted for the survey of the Mexican Boundary : and to be 
packed and placed in boxes for transportation on mules. 

All the actual expenses incurred in executing these instruc- 
tions, as well as the personal expenses of Majors Graham and 
Emory, will be paid out of the appropriation made on the 12th 
August last, not exceeding $50,000, " for the expenses of run- 
ning and marking the boundary line between the U. S. and 
Mexico and paying the salaries of the officers of the Commis- 
sion." Accounts of these expenses properly vouched will be 
settled by the Fifth Auditor. 

Major Emory, after having received and examined such 
instruments as he may require, will report immediately to this 
Department what other instruments he may deem necessary for 
the survey, together with their probable cost and where they 
may be obtained the most speedily and upon the best terms. 
I am, Gentlemen &c. 

James Buchanan. 
To Major J. D. Graham and Major William H. Emory 
of the Topographical Engineers of the U. S. Army. 



^MSS. Department of State, 37 Domestic Letters, 97; S. Ex. Doc. 18, 
31 Cong. I Sess. 85 ; S. Ex. Doc. 34, 31 Cong, i Sess. i ; H. Ex. Doc. 17, 
31 Cong. I Sess. 60. 



1849] TO MR. JORDAN 291 

TO MR. HOPKINS.^ 

(No. 8.) Department of State, 

Washington, 22nd January, 1849. 
George W. Hopkins, Esqre., 

&c., &c., Lisbon. 
Sir: 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your 
despatches to No. 13, inclusive, — that of the 28th of November 
last, as it appears, being numbered 11, instead of 12. 

The suggestion you offer, in regard to making Lisbon the 
Depot of our Mediterranean Squadron, is fully appreciated by 
the President, who is gratified to learn that so favorable a dis- 
position in reference to it at present exists on the part of 
Portugal. Had the project been submitted earlier, it would 
have been embraced with alacrity by this Government. But 
upon mature consideration it has been deemed inexpedient at 
this late period to take any steps in the matter, although the 
object is entirely approved. You are aware that an arrangement 
already exists by which the Sardinian Government has con- 
ceded to us the use of its port of Spezzia. Besides, the close of 
the existing administration is so nigh that it is manifestly both 
proper and convenient to leave the whole subject for the decision 
of the administration which is so shortly to succeed. 

The Department can not furnish or authorize you to pur- 
chase, for the use of your Legation, the law books for which 
you have asked. The only books to which the Legation is 
entitled have already been transmitted. 

I am. Sir, respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. JORDAN.^ 

Washington, 23rd January, 1849. 

Dear Sir: I have received your favor of the 13th Inst., 

and can assure you that the present administration have been 

ever ready to assert and maintain the inviolability of our flag 

upon the ocean against Great Britain and all other nations. The 



* MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Portugal, XIV. 107. 
^MSS. Department of State, 2)1 Domestic Letters, 98. 



292 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

only reason why the Department has not demanded redress from 
the British Government for having arrested Mr. McManus on 
board of an xA.merican vessel is that no complaint has ever been 
made that this arrest took place on the high seas. Neither our 
]Minister to London, who has always been vigilant in asserting the 
rights of our country, nor our Consul at Cork, nor the master 
of the American vessel N. O. Chase, on board of which the arrest 
was made, has ever addressed the Department a line upon the 
subject. The presumption, therefore, is that the arrest took 
place in British waters and within exclusive British Jurisdiction. 
If this be the case, however much we may condemn the act, we 
have no right, in an international point of view, to demand re- 
dress for it under the law of nations. By this code it is well 
settled that the exclusive jurisdiction of a nation extends to the 
ports, harbors, bays, mouths of rivers, and adjacent parts of the 
sea enclosed by headlands; and, also, to the distance of a Marine 
league, or as far as a cannon shot will reach, from the shore 
along all its coasts. If Mr. McManus were arrested within these 
limits, on board of an American merchant vessel, by virtue of 
process issuing from a competent British authority, w^e have no 
right to demand redress, either under the law of nations or by 
virtue of any treaty existing between the two Countries. In 
case an American citizen charged with a crime in the City of 
New York should seek an asylum in a British merchant vessel, 
our authorities, I presume, would not hesitate to arrest him on 
board of such vessel whilst she remained within waters under 
our exclusive and absolute jurisdiction. In such a case the flag 
of Great Britain would afford no protection against the process 
of the law. 

I have never seen the trial of Mr. McManus. If you have 
a copy of it, I should be glad if you would forward it to me. 
Should it appear that the arrest was made upon the high seas, 
the Department would instantly act with decision upon the sub- 
ject; but if that has not been the case, a demand for redress 
would only place this Government in a false position, which 
ought always to be avoided. 

In consequence of the information contained in your letter, 
I shall send an invitation to John Murphy, Esquire, our Consul 
at Cork, to ascertain and report all the facts of this case to the 
Department. 

Yours Very Respectfully 

James Buchanan. 
Matthew Jordan Esq. 



1849] TO MR. WELLER 293 

TO MR. WELLER.^ 

Department of State, 
Washington, 24th January, 1849. 

Sir: The fifth article of the Treaty requiring that the 
Commissioner and Surveyor of the United States and Mexico, 
respectively, should meet at San Diego before the 30th May, 
1849, "o time should be lost in organizing the Commission on 
our part, preparatory to its departure for the place of destination. 

As you will be held responsible for the able and faithful 
execution of the important public trust confided to you by this 
article of the Treaty, the President deems it proper to leave to 
you the organization of the Commission, enjoining it upon you, 
at the same time, to employ as few persons to assist you as may 
be compatible with the successful and efficient performance of 
your duties, and to study economy, as far as practicable, in all 
your expenditures. 

The organization will be effected solely with a view to run 
and mark the boundar^^ line between the two Republics, although 
the selection of individuals for this purpose may be made with 
reference to the incidental collection of information relative to 
the construction of " a road, canal, or railway " along the River 
Gila, as provided for by the sixth article of the Treaty. 

In organizing the Commission, you are referred, for any 
information which you may deem necessary, to Andrew B. Gray, 
Esquire, who has been appointed Surveyor under the Treaty, 
and Major William H. Emory, of the Topographical Engineers, 
whom the President has designated to be " Chief Astronomer and 
Head of the Topographical Scientific Corps of the Commission." 

Congress by the Civil and Diplomatic Act of August 12th, 
1848, has appropriated, " For the expenses of running and mark- 
ing the Boundary line between the United States and Mexico, 
and paying the salaries of the officers of the Commission, a sum 
not exceeding fifty thousand dollars," and the President considers 
that he will best effectuate the intentions of Congress by directing 
that the expenses of the Commission for one year shall be so 
graduated as not to exceed this appropriation. You will be 
charged exclusively with the disbursement of the money thus 
appropriated, with the exception of the sum which may be neces- 



^MSS. Department of State, 37 Domestic Letters, 164; S. Ex. Doc. 18, 
31 Cong. I Sess. 85; S. Ex. Doc. 34, 31 Cong, i Sess. 2; H. Ex. Doc. 17, 
31 Cong. I Sess. 61. 



294 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

sary to execute my instructions of the 19th Instant to Majors 
Graham and Emory, relative to the deUvery of Astronomical 
instruments from the former to the latter, for the use of the 
Commission. 

Your salary as Commissioner, as well as that of the Sur- 
veyor, will commence from this date. In case Congress should 
not declare by law what these salaries shall be, they will be fixed 
by the President before the departure of the Commission from 
the United States. Under the head of contingent expenses of 
the commission will be embraced your reasonable personal ex- 
penses while in service, and those of the Surveyor, Chief 
Astronomer, and other officers of the Topographical Engineers 
who may be detailed to assist you in the field; the pay and 
subsistence of Assistant Surveyors, chain carriers, and laborers, 
and the incidental and necessary expense of exploring parties, 
the purchase of stationery, of tents and camp equipage, and the 
purchase or hire of horses, mules, and vehicles for the transporta- 
tion of the same. 

Of all these expenses you will keep a regular account, which, 
together with the necessary vouchers, you will render and trans- 
mit quarterly to the Fifth x\uditor of the Treasury for settle- 
ment; and to meet the same, as likewise the payment of the 
salaries, you will from time to time, as occasion may require, 
draw upon the Department, taking care not to exceed, in the 
amount drawn at any one time, the sum which will be required to 
meet the actual and necessary expenses of the Commission. 

After the Commission on the part of the United States shall 
have been properly organized under your direction, and before 
your departure from the country, you will receive further 
instructions. 

I am, Sir, &c. 

James Buchanan. 
To John B. Weller, Esq., " Commissioner for running the 
Boundary Line between the United States and the Republic 
of Mexico, under the fifth article of the Treaty with that 
Republic, concluded on the 2d February, 1848." 



1849] TO BARON ROENNE 295 

TO THE PRESIDENT/ 

[January 25, 1849.] 
To THE President of the United States. 

The Secretary of State, to whom was referred the Resolu- 
tion of the Senate of the 21st Ultimo, requesting the President 
" to communicate to the Senate (if in his opinion not incom- 
patible with the public service) a copy of the despatches trans- 
mitted to the Secretary of State in August last,' by the Resident 
Minister at Rio de Janeiro, in reference to the service and general 
conduct of Commodore G. W. Storer, Commander in Chief of 
the United States Naval forces on the Coast of Brazil " — has 
the honor to lay before the President extracts from all those parts 
of a despatch addressed to this Department, under date the 5th 
September last, by Mr. Tod, the Minister Plenipotentiary of the 
United States at Rio de Janeiro, and a copy of the papers therein 
referred to, relating to the service and general conduct of Com- 
modore G. W. Storer, which despatch is presumed to be that 
called for by the Resolution. 

Respectfully submitted. 

James Buchanan. 

Department of State, 

Washington, 25th January 1849. 



TO BARON ROENNE.^ 

Department of State, 
Washington, 26th January, 1849. 
Baron Von Roenne, 

Sire. &c, &c. German Empire. 
Sir: 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note 
of yesterday, transmitting copy of a letter by which His Imperial 
Highness, the Vicaire of the German Empire, announces your 
appointment as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipoten- 

*MSS. Department of State, Report Book, VI. 275. This report was 
transmitted by President Polk to the Senate, January 29, 1849. The 
message of transmittal is printed in Richardson's Messages and Papers of the 
Presidents, IV. 678. 

^MSS. Department of State, Notes to German States, VI. 195. 



296 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

tiary near the United States, and inquiring when it will be 
convenient to give you an audience for the purpose of delivering 
the original to the President. 

The President has appointed one o'clock to-day for your 
reception, — and if you will do me the favor to call at the Depart- 
ment at 1 2 3^, it will give me pleasure to accompany you to 
his residence. 

Accept the assurance of my distinguished consideration. 

Tames Buchanan. 



TO MR. MURPHY.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, Jany. 26th, 1849. 
John Murphy, Esqre. 

U. S. Consul, Cork. 
Sir, 

Communications have been received at this Department 
respecting the arrest of Terence B. McManus, a British subject, 
on board the American Merchant Ship '' N. D. Chase." After 
leaving the shores of Great Britain, that Vessel is understood to 
have been, by accident or stress of weather, driven into the Cove 
of Cork, outside of which, it has been said, the warrant was 
executed. It is matter of great regret that the Department is not 
sufficiently possessed of the facts of the case to authorize 
definitive action on the subject. The important question is 
whether the arrest was made within exclusive British Jurisdiction 
or beyond its lawful limits. In the first case, this would be 
permitted by the law of Nations; but in the latter, it would be 
an outrage upon the American Flag, demanding redress. In 
order to enable the Department to adopt the proper course, I have 
to request that you will promptly communicate to me a statement 
of all the facts and circumstances attending the arrest: where 
it was made, whether within acknowledged British Jurisdiction or 
on the high seas, and, also, transmit a copy of such of the pro- 
ceedings against Mr. McManus as may cast light upon this 
question. Any expense which you may incur in making the 
necessary investigations will be borne by the Department. 

I am, Sir, &c. 

James Buchanan. 



*MSS. Department of State, Despatches to Consuls, XII. 418. 



1849] TO MR. HOPKINS 297 

TO MR. HOPKINS/ 

(No. 9.) Department of State, 

Washington, 31st January, 1849. 
George W. Hopkins, Esqre., 

&c., &c., Lisbon. 
Sir: 

I transmit to you, herewith, a copy of a Memorial addressed 
to me on the 15th instant, by the owners and underwriters of the 
Schooner *' Col : Blum," Captain Tate, Master, — presenting a 
claim against the Portuguese Government for losses sustained 
in consequence of her alleged illegal seizure, and subsequent 
destruction, at the Isle of Sal, one of the Cape Verdes. 

I transmit at the same time the various documents, in sup- 
port of the claim, which accompanied the memorial, — lettered 
A, B, C, D, and E. 

This case will be brought by you to the immediate attention 
of the Portuguese Government. It calls for prompt inquiry; 
and the proximity of the theatre of the alleged outrage precludes 
the necessity of any considerable delay in ascertaining the truth 
of the facts stated by the parties aggrieved. Should the state- 
ment prove correct, — of which there does not seem to be a 
reasonable doubt, — full indemnity will be due, and should be 
accordingly demanded by you in strong but respectful language ; 
and you will insist upon ample reparation for all the consequences 
of acts so flagrantly unjust and inhuman, committed by the 
Portuguese authorities at the Cape Verdes, — whose conduct on 
the occasion should meet, at the hands of their Government, with 
appropriate punishment. You will, also, indicate to the Minister 
of Foreign Affairs the importance of adopting measures to 
prevent a recurrence of similar acts; whose repetition can not 
fail to jeopard the friendly relations now subsisting between 
the two countries. 

The parties interested will be desired to correspond directly 
with you, and to furnish any further information that may be 
needed ; of which you will apprise them. 

I am, vSir, respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Portugal, XIV. 109. 



298 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

TO MR. MARCY/ 

Department of State, 
Washington, 31st January, 1849. 
Hon. William L. Marcy, 

Secretary of War. 
Sir: 

Referring to my communications of the nth & 17th instant, 
on the subject of Spanish claims upon the U. S. for alleged losses 
during the Mexican War, I beg leave now to transmit the original 
and translation of a note addressed to me by the Minister of 
Spain on the 15th Instant, relating to the respective claims of 
Jose Valverde or Villaverde, — the Laura Virginia, and Don 
Caspar de Oliva, &c. 

The original papers and translations in the first and last 
cases are herewith submitted, copies of which have been already 
sent, and those in the case of the Laura Virginia, just translated, 
are now for the first time transmitted. 

These papers, together with those heretofore sent, are 
believed to contain all the matters of complaint submitted by the 
Spanish Minister which concern your Department, and I ask that 
they may be returned. 

I am. Sir, &c.. 

James Buchanan. 



TO THE PRESIDENT.' 

Department of State, 

Washington, February i, 1849. 
The Secretaiy of State has the honor respectfully to submit 
to the President a report just received at this department from 
the Commissioner of Patents, respecting the use by this govern- 
ment of an alleged invention of Mr. John B. Emerson. 

James Buchanan. 
To THE President of the United States. 



^ MSS. Department of State, 2>7 Domestic Letters, 134. 

^This report was transmitted by President Polk to the Senate, with 
the following message (S. Report 294, 30 Cong. 2 Sess. 11) : 
To THE Senate of the United States : 

I communicate herewith reports from the Secretary of State, the 
Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of War, and the Secretary of the 
Navy, together with the accompanying documents, in answer to a resolution 



1849] TO SENOR CALDERON DE LA BARCA 299 

TO SENOR CALDERON DE LA BARCA/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, ist February, 1849. 
Don A. Calderon de la Barca, 

&c. &c. &c. 
Sir: 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note 
of the 26th ultimo, on the subject of the arrest, at Havana, of 
William H. Bush, steward of the packet " Childe Harold," for 
an alleged violation of the laws of that port, prohibiting the 
fraudulent introduction of letters and other printed matter. 

In compliance with the request contained in your note of the 
30th ultimo, I transmit, herewith, the act of the President recog- 
nising Mr. John G. Doon as Vice Consul of Spain for the port 
of Savannah, in Georgia, and return, at the same time, Mr. 
Doon's commission, which accompanied your note. 

All the reclamations of Spanish subjects for alleged injuries 
occasioned by our forces in Mexico, which have been presented 
by you from time to time, have now been submitted to the 
Secretary of War, whose decision upon them will be communi- 
cated to you as soon as received. — The delay that has attended 
some of these cases has arisen solely from the length of time 
required to translate the voluminous documents which accom- 
panied them. 

I avail myself of this occasion to renew to you the assurance 
of my distinguished consideration. 

James Buchanan. 



of the Senate of the 15th January, 1849, " that the petition and papers of 
John B. Emerson be referred to the President of the United States, and 
that he be requested to cause a report thereon to be made to the Senate, 
wherein the public officer making such report shall state in what cases, if 
any, the United States have used or employed the invention of said 
Emerson contrary to law, and, further, whether any compensation therefor 
is justly due to said Emerson, and, if so, to what amount in each case." 

James K. Polk. 
Washington, February i, 1849. 

^ MSS. Department of State, Notes to Spanish Legation, VI. 173. 



300 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

TO MR. McClelland/ 

Department of State, 
Washington, ist February, 1849. 
To the Hon. R. McClelland, 

of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, 
House of Representatives. 
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledg-e the receipt of your 
letter of the 29th Ultimo, upon the subject of claims of citizens 
of the United States against the Alexican Government, under 
the Treaty of Guadalupe Flidalgo. In reply, I have the honor 
to refer you to the subjoined statement of sums stipulated to be 
paid to the United States by other foreign Governments, in dis- 
charge of claims of our citizens against them, and the amounts 
awarded to the claimants by Boards of Commissioners appointed 
to carry the respective Conventions into effect. At the time of 
the departure of Mr. Slidell on his mission, an estimate of the 
pending claims of our citizens upon the Mexican Government, 
other than those which had been presented to the Board of 
Commissioners, Avas prepared for his use. This you can examine 
if you will call at the Department. I am not aware that we have 
any unpublished information in regard to the empresario grants. 
I have the honor to be &c. 

James Buchanan. 



MEMORANDUM.^ 



February 2, 1849. — I observed to Mr. Crampton that the 
inference drawn in the foregoing despatch, that " the United 
States itself admits that this right (the right of navigation which 



* MSS. Department of State, 37 Domestic Letters, 103. 

^ S. Ex. Doc. 20, 31 Cong. 2 Sess. 11-12. The despatch referred to in 
the above memorandum is as follows (S. Ex. Doc. 20, 31 Cong. 2 Sess. 
lo-ii) : 

Foreign Office, September 18, 1848. 

Sir: I am directed by Viscount Palmerston to acknowledge the receipt 
of your letter of the nth instant, enclosing minutes of conversations 
between the agents of the Hudson's Bay Company and the United States 
Secretary of State, and the opinions of Mr. Webster and Mr. Coxe upon 
the question whether the Hudson's Bay Company has any power to convey 
to the United States the right of navigating the Columbia river which is 
secured to her Majesty's subjects by virtue of the second article of the 
treaty which was signed at Washington on the 15th June, 1846, for th^ 



1849] MEMORANDUM 301 

the treaty gives) is not a thing which the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany can be entitled to sell," from the fact that this " government 
wants it to be surrendered by a new treaty between the two 
governments," is a noii scqiiitiir. In expressing a decided opin- 
ion for myself, individually, that this right, as it had been 
acquired by treaty, should, in order to avoid future difficulties, 
be surrendered by a new treaty, (an opinion expressed at the 
very time when the question was before the Senate with a view 
to the negotiation of such a treaty,) I never admitted, nor 
intended to admit, that it could not be legitimately purchased, 
without a treaty, by the United States from the Hudson's Bay 
Company, together with their other property and possessions in 
Oregon, in case Congress should make an appropriation for this 
purpose. 

To this Mr. Crampton replied, that upon referring to his 
despatch to Lord Palmerston, detailing the conversation referred 



settlement of the Oregon boundary, and you propose that Lord Palmerston 
should authorize you to consult her Majesty's Attorney and Solicitor Gen- 
eral upon the above mentioned question. 

I am to state to you, in reply, that Lord Palmerston sees no necessity 
for any such reference to the law officers, because he cannot conceive how 
any doubt can exist as to the meaning and effect of the article in question, 
the words of which appear to his lordship to be perfectly plain and clear. 

Lord Palmerston considers that the right therein mentioned belongs 
to the Hudson's Bay Company and to all and any other British subjects 
trading with that company; for he agrees with you in presuming that the 
words " the same," employed in the first clause of article second of the 
treaty of July 17, 1846, must be construed as meaning the Hudson's Bay 
Company; and his lordship is of opinion that, although the Puget's Sound 
Agricultural Company may, by virtue of the fourth article of the same 
treaty, sell to the United States the farms, lands, and other property of 
every description belonging to that company on the north side of the 
Columbia river and south of the boundary line between the United States 
and the British territory, yet there is no provision in the treaty authorizing 
the Hudson's Bay Company to sell the right of navigation, which is described 
in the second article of that treaty, and which belongs to others as well as 
themselves. 

If the Columbia river is navigable only up to the forty-ninth parallel 
of north latitude, and if the Hudson's Bay Company should sell everything 
they possess south of that parallel, and should retire altogether from the 
country south of that line, then indeed it seems evident that the article 
giving to them and others the right of navigating the Columbia will become 
a dead letter, because they will not be there to trade or be traded with, 
and no British subject can, therefore, want or ask to go up the Columbia 
in order to trade with them. 

But Lord Palmerston apprehends that the Columbia is navigable for 



302 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

to, he found, and w^e agreed, that it contained nothing incon- 
sistent with the above statement ; but to avoid all misunderstand- 
ing upon the subject hereafter, he would communicate my ex- 
planation to his lordship. On the same day I gave Mr. Crampton 
a copy of this memorandum. 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. STILES/ 



(No. 26.) Department of State, 

Washington, February 2, 1849. 

Sir : I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your 
despatch No. 46, which reached the Department on the 15th 
ultimo. 

You were placed in a novel and embarrassing position by 
the application made to you, in behalf of Mr. Kossuth, to '' under- 
take an intervention for the settlement of the differences existing 
between the Imperial Government and the Kingdom of Hun- 
gary ; " and I am gratified that your prudence and ability were 
equal to the occasion. In our foreign policy we must ever be 



some craft or other higher up than the forty-ninth parallel; and the country 
above that parallel, which belongs to the British crown, has been granted to 
the Hudson's Bay Company for at least a limited time to come, and the 
grant so made may be renewed and extended. The country to the north of 
the forty-ninth parallel which is thus accessible by the Columbia is not so 
easily accessible by land; and when that country becomes settled, British 
subjects may want to get at it by the Columbia, in order to trade with the 
settlements of the Hudson's Bay Company therein. Lord Palmerston there- 
fore thinks that it would be inexpedient for the British government to sur- 
render the right of navigation which the treaty gives. 

The United States itself admits that this right is not a thing which the 
Hudson's Bay Company can be entitled to sell, because that government 
wants it to be surrendered by a new treaty between the two governments. 
If the United States wish to negotiate such a treaty, it is for them to propose 
it, and to say what equivalent they are prepared to oflfer, not to the Hudson's 
Bay Company, but to the British crown, in exchange for the right which 
they want the British crown to give up; but her Majesty's government have 
no proposal to make, they being quite content to leave these things as 
they are. I am, &c., &c., 

H. U. Addington. 
Sir John H. Felly, Bart., 
Hudson's Bay House. 

* MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Austria, I. 55 ; S. Ex. Doc. 43, 
31 Cong. I Sess. 11. 



1849] TO THE CHEVALIER HULSEMANN 303 

governed by the wise maxim not to interfere with the domestic 
concerns of foreign nations; and from this you have not de- 
parted. You have done no more, in your own language, than 
to attempt to open the door of reconcihation between the oppos- 
ing parties, leaving them to adjust their differences without your 
intervention. Considering there was reason to believe that the 
previous offers of the Hungarian Government, for a reconcilia- 
tion, had never reached the Imperial Government, and that no 
other practicable mode of communicating these offers existed, 
except through your agency, you acted wisely in becoming an 
intermediary for this purpose alone. Had you refused thus to 
act upon the request of Mr. Kossuth, you might have been 
charged with a want of humanity, and been held, in some degree, 
responsible for the blood which has since been so profusely shed 
in the war. The President entirely approves your conduct. 

It may be remarked that the request of Mr. Kossuth to 
yourself, in his letter of the 29th November, 1848, does not seem 
to be confined to the single object which alone you had informed 
his friend you would attempt to accomplish. 

T am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant. 

James Buchanan. 
William H. Stiles, Esq., &c., &c., Vienna. 



TO THE CHEVALIER HULSEMANN/ 

Department of State, 
Washington, 6th February, 1849. 
Chevalier Hulsemann, 

&c., &c., &c. Austria. 
Sir: 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note 
of the 2nd ultimo, announcing, by direction of your Government, 
that His Majesty the Emperor Ferdinand I. had abdicated the 
imperial throne, in favor of his nephew, the Arch-Duke Francis 
Joseph. 

Cabinet letters communicating intelligence of these im- 
portant changes were received by the President, and his replies 
have been transmitted to Vienna. — That these events may be 



MSS. Department of State, Notes to German States, VL 196. 



304 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

followed by order and tranquillity, and promote the lasting hap- 
piness of the Austrian People, is the sincere wish of the 
American Government. 

I am, Sir, with great consideration. 

Your obedient ser\^ant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. BREEDLOVE.^ 

Department of State, 
Washington, 6th February, 1849. 
To James W. Breedlove, Esq. 

New Orleans. 
Sir: 

Your letter of the 26th Ultimo, relative to the claim upon 
the late Government of Colombia in the case of the Brig Sarah 
Wilson, has been received. In reply, I transmit a copy of the 
Convention upon the subject signed by Mr. Shields and the 
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Venezuela, on the 12th of April 
last. In consequence of the pressure of other business, this 
Convention was not acted upon by the Venezuelan Congress at 
its last Session. Mr. Shields, however, expressed an opinion 
that if another Congress of that Republic should assemble at the 
usual period, the Convention would be ratified. 

I am. Sir, &c. 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. RICHARDS ET AL.^ 

Department of State, 
Washington, 6th February, 1849. 
Benjamin Richards, Esq. 

J. Harrison, Esq., President Mutual Security Insurance Co. 
and others. New York. 
Gentlemen : I have the honor to inform you that a 
copy of your letter of the 15th Ult. and the documents which 
accompanied it, on the subject of the illegal seizure and subse- 
quent destruction of the Schooner Col. Blum, Capt. Tate, Master, 
have been transmitted to Mr. Geo. W. Hopkins, U. S. Charge 



^ MSS. Department of State, 37 Domestic Letters, 105. 



1849] MESSAGE OF THE PRESIDENT 305 

d' Affaires at Lisbon, who has been instructed after investigation 
to present your claim to the Government of Portugal and to 
demand indemnification. 

Mr. Hopkins has also been informed that the parties inter- 
ested would be desired to correspond directly with him upon the 
subject, and to furnish him with any further information in 
relation to the case which may be necessary to its prosecution. 
I am, gentlemen, &c. 

James Buchanan. 



TO THE PRESIDENT/ 

Department of State, 
Washington, 8th February, 1849. 
The Secretary of State, to whom was referred the Resolu- 
tion of the House of Representatives of the 5th Instant requesting 
the President to communicate to that Plouse a correct copy of 
the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, of the instructions of this 
Government to Commissioners A. H. Sevier and N. Clifford, 
together with such other correspondence as appertains to said 
Treaty, has the honor to lay before the President the papers 
mentioned in the subjoined Hst, which embrace all the papers in 
this Department called for by the Resolution. 
Respectfully submitted. 

James Buchanan. 
To THE President of the United States. 



MESSAGE OF PRESIDENT POLK 

ON THE TREATY OF PEACE WITH MEXICO.^ 

[February 8, 1849.] 
To THE House of Representatives of the United States : 

In reply to the resolutions of the House of Representatives, of the fifth 
instant, I communicate herewith a report from the Secretary of State,' 
accompanied with all the documents and correspondence relating to the 
treaty of peace concluded between the United States and Mexico, at Guada- 



^MSS. Department of State, Report Book, VI. 276; H. Ex. Doc. 50, 
30 Cong. 2 Sess. 9. 

"H. Ex. Doc. 50, 30 Cong. 2 Sess. i, 
^ See the report preceding. 
Vol. VIII— 20 



306 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

lupe Hidalgo, on the 2d of February, 1848, and to the amendments of the 
Senate thereto, as requested by the House in the said resohitions. 

Amongst the documents transmitted will be found a copy of the 
instructions given to the commissioners of the United States who took to 
Mexico the treaty as amended by the Senate and ratified by the President 
of the United States. In my message to the House of Representatives of 
the twenty-ninth of July, 1848, I gave as my reason for declining to furnish 
these instructions, in compliance with a resolution of the House, that, " in 
my opinion, it would be inconsistent with the public interests to give pub- 
licity to them at the present time." Although it may still be doubted whether 
giving them publicity in our own country, and, as a necessary consequence, 
in Mexico, may not have a prejudicial influence on our public interests; yet, 
as they have been again called for by the House, and called for in connexion 
with other documents, to the correct understanding of which they are indis- 
pensable, I have deemed it my duty to transmit them. 

I still entertain the opinion expressed in the message referred to, " that, 
as a general rule, applicable to all our important negotiations with foreign 
powers, it could not fail to be prejudicial to the public interest to publish the 
instructions to our ministers, until some time had elapsed after the conclu- 
sion of such negotiations." 

In these instructions of the i8th of March, 1848, it will be perceived 
" that the task was assigned to the commissioners of the United States of 
consummating the treaty of peace, which was signed at Guadalupe Hidalgo 
on the second day of February last, between the United States and the 
Mexican republic, and which, on the tenth of March last, was ratified by 
the Senate with amendments." 

They were informed "that this brief statement will indicate to you 
clearly the line of your duty. You are not sent to Mexico for the purpose 
of negotiating any new treaty, or of changing in any particular the ratified 
treaty which you will bear with you. None of the amendments adopted by 
the Senate can be rejected or modified, except by the authority of that body. 
Your whole duty will then consist in using every honorable effort to obtain 
from the Mexican government a ratification of the treaty, in the form in 
which it has been ratified by the Senate, and this with the least practicable 
delay." " For this purpose, it may, and most probably will, become necessary 
that you should explain to the Mexican minister for foreign affairs, or to 
the authorized agents of the Mexican government, the reasons which have 
influenced the Senate in adopting these several amendments to the treaty. 
This duty you will perform, as much as possible, by personal conferences. 
Diplomatic notes are to be avoided unless in case of necessity. These might 
lead to endless discussion and indefinite delay. Besides, they could not have 
any practical result, as your mission is confined to procuring a ratification, 
from the Mexican government, of the treaty as it came from the Senate, 
and does not extend to the slightest modification in any of its provisions." 

The commissioners were sent to Mexico to procure the ratification of 
the treaty as amended by the Senate. Their instructions confined them to 
this point. It was proper that the amendments to the treaty adopted by 
the United States should be explained to the Mexican government, and 
explanations were made by the Secretary of State in his letter of the i8th 
of March, 1848, to the Mexican minister for foreign affairs, under my direc- 



1849] MESSAGE OF THE PRESIDENT 307 

tion. This despatch was communicated to Congress with my message of 
the 6th of July last, communicating the treaty of peace, and published by 
their order. This despatch was transmitted by our commissioners, from the 
city of Mexico to the Mexican government, then at Queretaro, on the 17th 
of April, 1848, and its receipt acknowledged on the 19th of the same month. 
During the whole time that the treaty, as amended, was before the congress 
of Mexico, these explanations of the Secretary of State, and these alone, 
were before them. 

The president of Mexico, on these explanations, on the 8th day of 
May, 1848, submitted the amended treaty to the Mexican congress, and, on 
the 25th of May, that congress approved the treaty as amended without modi- 
fication or alteration. The final action of the Mexican congress had taken 
place before the commissioners of the United States had been officially 
received by the Mexican authorities, or held any conference with them, or 
had any other communication on the subject of the treaty except to transmit 
the letter of the Secretary of State. 

In their despatch, transmitted to Congress with my message of the 
6th of July last, communicating the treaty of peace, dated " City of Quere- 
taro, May 25, 1848, 9 o'clock, p.m.," the commissioners say: "We have the 
satisfaction to inform you that we reached this city this afternoon at about 
5 o'clock, and that the treaty, as amended by the Senate of the United 
States, passed the Mexican senate about the hour of our arrival, by a vote 
of 33 to 5. It having previously passed the house of deputies, nothing now 
remains but to exchange the ratifications of the treaty." 

On the next day (the 26th of May) the commissioners were, for the 
first time, presented to the president of the republic, and their credentials 
placed in his hands. On this occasion the commissioners delivered an address 
to the president of Mexico, and he replied. In their despatch of the 30th of 
May, the commissioners say : " We enclose a copy of our address to the 
president, and also a copy of his reply. Several conferences afterwards 
took place between Messrs. Rosa, Cuevas, Conto, and ourselves, which it is 
not thought necessary to recapitulate, as we enclose a copy of the protocol, 
which contains the substance of the conversations. We have now the satis- 
faction to announce that the exchange of ratifications was efifected to-day." 
This despatch was communicated with my message of the 6th of July last, 
and published by order of Congress. 

The treaty, as amended by the Senate of the United States, with the 
accompanying papers, and the evidence that in that form it had been ratified 
by Mexico, was received at Washington on the 4th day of July, 1848, and 
immediately proclaimed as the supreme law of the land. On the 6th of 
July, I communicated to Congress the ratified treaty, with such accompanying 
documents as were deemed material to a full understanding of the subject, 
to the end that Congress might adopt the legislation necessary and proper 
to carry the treaty into effect. Neither the address of the commissioners, 
nor the' reply of the president of Mexico, on the occasion of their presenta- 
tion, nor the memorandum of conversations embraced in the paper called a 
protocol, nor the correspondence now sent, were communicated, because they 
were not regarded as in any way material ; and in this I conformed to the 
practice of our government. It rarely if ever happens that all the cor- 
respondence, and especially the instructions to our ministers, is communi- 



308 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

cated. Copies of these papers are now transmitted, as being within the 
resolutions of the House calling for all such '' correspondence as appertains 
to said treaty." 

When these papers were received at Washington, peace had been 
restored, the first instalment of three millions paid to Mexico, the blockades 
were raised, the city of Mexico evacuated, and our troops on their return 
home. The war was at an end, and the treaty, as ratified by the United 
States, was binding on both parties, and already executed in a great degree. 
In this condition of things it was not competent for the President alone, or 
for the President and Senate, or for the President, Senate, and House of 
Representatives combined, to abrogate the treaty, to annul the peace and 
restore a state of war, except by a solemn declaration of war. 

Had the protocol varied the treaty, as amended by the Senate of the 
United States, it would have had no binding effect. 

It was obvious that the commissioners of the United States did not 
regard the protocol as in any degree a part of the treaty, nor as modifying 
or altering the treaty as amended by the Senate. They communicated it as 
the substance of conversations held after the Mexican congress had ratified 
the treaty, and they knew that the approval of the Mexican congress was as 
essential to the validity of a treaty in all its parts as the advice and consent 
of the Senate of the United States. They knew, too, that they had no 
authority to alter or modify the treaty in. the form in which it had been 
ratified by the United States, but that, if failing to procure the ratification 
of the Mexican government otherwise than with amendments, their duty, 
imposed by express instructions, was to ask of Mexico to send, without 
delay, a commissioner to Washington to exchange ratifications here, if the 
amendments of the treaty proposed by Mexico, on being submitted, should 
be adopted by the Senate of the United States. 

I was equally well satisfied that the government of Mexico had agreed 
to the treaty as amended by the Senate of the United States, and did not 
regard the protocol as modifying, enlarging, or diminishing its terms or 
effect. The president of that republic, in submitting the amended treaty to 
the Mexican congress, in his message on the 8th day of May, 1848, said : 
" If the treaty could have been submitted to your deliberation precisely as 
it came from the hands of the plenipotentiaries, my satisfaction at seeing the 
war at last brought to an end would not have been lessened as it this day 
is in consequence of the modifications introduced into it by the Senate of 
the United States, and which have received the sanction of the President." 
" At present it is sufficient for us to say to you that if, in the opinion of the 
government, justice had not been evinced on the part of the Senate and 
government of the United States, in introducing such modifications, it is 
presumed, on the other hand, that they are not of such importance that they 
should set aside the treaty. I believe, on the contrary, that it ought to be 
ratified upon the same terms in which it has already received the sanction 
of the American government. My opinion is also greatly strengthened by 
the fact that a new negotiation is neither expected or considered possible. 
Much less could another be brought forward upon a basis more favorable 
for the republic." 

The deliberations of the Mexican congress, with no explanation before 
that body from the United States, except the letter of the Secretary of 



1849] MESSAGE OF THE PRESIDENT 309 

State, resulted in the ratification of the treaty, as recommended by the 
president of that republic, in the form in which it had been amended and 
ratified by the United States. The conversations embodied in the paper 
called a protocol took place after the action of the Mexican congress was 
complete ; and there is no reason to suppose that the government of Mexico 
ever submitted the protocol to the congress, or ever treated or regarded it 
as in any sense a new negotiation, or as operating any modification or change 
of the amended treaty. If such had been its effect, it was a nullity until 
approved by the Mexican congress ; and such approval was never made or 
intimated to the United States. In the final consummation of the ratification 
of the treaty by the president of Mexico, no reference is made to it. On 
the contrary, this ratification, which was delivered to the commissioners of 
the United States, and is now in the State Department, contains a full and 
explicit recognition of the amendments of the Senate just as they had been 
communicated to that government by the Secretary of State, and been 
afterwards approved by the Mexican congress. It declares that, " having 
seen and examined the said treaty, and the modifications made by the Senate 
of the United States of America, and having given an account thereof to 
the general congress, conformably to the requirement in the XlVth para- 
graph of the iioth article of the federal constitution of these United States, 
that body has thought proper to approve of the said treaty, with the modifica- 
tions thereto in all their parts ; and, in consequence thereof, exerting the 
power granted to me by the constitution, I accept, ratify, and confirm the 
said treaty with its modifications, and promise, in the name of the Mexican 
republic, to fulfil and observe it, and to cause it to be fulfilled and observed." 

Upon an examination of this protocol, when it was received with the 
ratified treaty, I did not regard it as material, or as in any way attempting 
to modify or change the treaty as it had been amended by the Senate of 
the United States. 

The first explanation which it contains is " that the American govern- 
ment by suppressing the ninth article of the treaty of Guadalupe, and sub- 
stituting the third article of the treaty of Louisiana, did not intend to 
diminish, in any way, what was agreed upon by the aforesaid article (ninth) 
in favor of the inhabitants of the territories ceded by Mexico. Its under- 
standing is that all of that agreement is contained in the third article of the 
treaty of Louisiana. In consequence, all the privileges and guarantees, civil, 
political, and religious, which would have been possessed by the inhabitants 
of the ceded territories, if the ninth article of the treaty had been retained, 
will be enjoyed by them, without any difference, under the article which has 
been substituted." 

The ninth article of the original treaty stipulated for the incorporation 
of the Mexican inhabitants of the ceded territories, and their admission into 
the Union " as soon as possible, according to the principles of the federal 
constitution, to the enjoyment of all the rights of citizens of the United 
States." It provided, also, that in the mean time they should be maintained 
in the enjoyment of their liberty, their property, and their civil rights, now 
vested in them according to the Mexican laws. It secured to them similar 
political rights with the inhabitants of the other territories of the United States, 
and at least equal to the inhabitants of Louisiana and Florida when they 
were in a territorial condition. It then proceeded to guarantee that ecclesi- 



310 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

astics and religious corporations should be protected in the discharge of 
the offices of their ministry, and the enjoyment of their property of every 
kind, whether individual or corporate, and finally, that there should be a 
free communication between the Catholics of the ceded territories and their 
ecclesiastical authorities, " even although such authorities should reside 
within the limits of the Mexican republic, as defined by this treaty." 

The ninth article of the treaty, as adopted by the Senate, is much more 
comprehensive in its terms and explicit in its meaning, and it clearly 
embraces, in comparatively few words, all the guarantees inserted in the 
original article. It is as follows : " Mexicans who, in the territories afore- 
said, shall not preserve the character of citizens of the Mexican republic, 
conformably with what is stipulated in the preceding article, shall be incor- 
porated into the Union of the United States and be admitted at the proper 
time (to be judged of by the Congress of the United States) to the enjoy- 
ment of all the rights of citizens of the United States, according to the prin- 
ciples of the constitution; and in the mean time shall be maintained and 
protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty and property, and secured 
in the free exercise of their religion without restriction." This article, 
which was substantially copied from the Louisiana treaty, provides equally 
with the original article for the admission of these inhabitants into the 
Union ; and in the mean time, whilst they shall remain in a territorial state, 
by one sweeping provision, declares that they " shall be maintained and 
protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty and property and secured in 
the free exercise of their religion without restriction." 

This guarantee embraces every kind of property, whether held by 
ecclesiastics or laymen, whether belonging to corporations or individuals. It 
secures to these inhabitants the free exercise of their religion without 
restriction, whether they choose to place themselves under the spiritual 
authority of pastors resident within the Mexican republic or the ceded 
territories. It was, it is presumed, to place this construction beyond all 
question that the Senate superadded the words " without restriction " to 
the religious guarantee contained in the corresponding article of the 
Louisiana treaty. Congress itself does not possess the power under the con- 
stitution to make any law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. 

If the ninth article of the treaty, whether in its original or amended 
form, had been entirely omitted in the treaty, all the rights and privileges 
which either of them confers would have been secured to the inhabitants of 
the ceded territories by the constitution and laws of the United States. 

The protocol asserts that " the American government, by suppressing the 
tenth article of the treaty of Guadalupe, did not in any way intend to annul 
the grants of lands made by Mexico in the ceded territories ; " that " these 
grants, notwithstanding the suppression of the article of the treaty, preserve 
the legal value which they may possess, and the grantees may cause their 
legitimate titles to be acknowledged before the American tribunals ; " and 
then proceeds to state that, " conformably to the law of the United States, 
legitimate titles to every description of property, personal and real, existing 
in the ceded territories, are those which were legitimate titles under the 
Mexican law in California and New Mexico up to the thirteenth of May, 
1846, and in Texas up to the second of March, 1836." The former was the 
date of the declaration of war against Mexico, and the latter that of the 
declaration of independence by Texas. 



1849] MESSAGE OF THE PRESIDENT 311 

The objection to the tenth article of the original treaty was not that it 
protected legitimate titles, which our laws would have equally protected 
without it, but that it most unjustly attempted to resuscitate grants which 
had become a mere nullity, by allowing the grantees the same period after 
the exchange of the ratifications of the treaty to which they had been 
originally entitled after the date of their grants, for the purpose of per- 
forming the conditions on which they had been made. In submitting the 
treaty to the Senate, I had recommended the rejection of this article. That 
portion of it in regard to lands in Texas did not receive a single vote in 
the Senate. This information was communicated by the letter of the Secre- 
tary of State to the minister for foreign affairs of Mexico, and was in pos- 
session of the Mexican government during the whole period the treaty 
was before the Mexican congress, and the article itself was reprobated in 
that letter in the strongest terms. Besides, our commissioners to Mexico 
had been instructed that " neither the President nor the Senate of the United 
States can ever consent to ratify any treaty containing the tenth article of 
the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in favor of grantees of land in Texas or 
elsewhere." And again : " Should the Mexican government persist in retain- 
ing this article, then all prospect of immediate peace is ended ; and of this 
you may give them an absolute assurance." 

On this point the language of the protocol is free from ambiguity; but, 
if it were otherwise, is there any individual, American or Mexican, who 
would place such a construction upon it as to convert it into a vain attempt 
to revive this article which had been so often and so solemnly condemned? 
Surely no person could for one moment suppose that either the commis- 
sioners of the United States or the Mexican minister for foreign affairs 
ever entertained the purpose of thus setting at naught the deliberate decision 
of the President and Senate, which had been communicated to the Mexican 
government with the assurance that their abandonment of this obnoxious 
article was essential to the restoration of peace. 

But the meaning of the protocol is plain. It is simply that the nullifica- 
tion of this article was not intended to destroy valid legitimate titles to 
land which existed and were in full force independently of the provisions 
and without the aid of this article. Notwithstanding it has been expunged 
from the treaty, these grants were to " preserve the legal value which they 
may possess." The refusal to revive grants which had become extinct was 
not to invalidate those which were in full force and vigor. That such was 
the clear understanding of the Senate of the United States, and this in 
perfect accordance with the protocol, is manifest from the fact that, whilst 
they struck from the treaty this unjust article, they at the same time 
sanctioned and ratified the last paragraph of the eighth article of the treaty, 
which declares that, " in the said territories, property of every kind, now 
belonging to Mexicans not established there, shall be inviolably respected. 
The present owners, the heirs of these, and all Mexicans who may hereafter 
acquire said property by contract, shall enjoy, with respect to it, guarantees 
equally ample as if the same belonged to citizens of the United States." 

Without any stipulation in the treaty to this effect, all such valid titles 
under the Mexican government would have been protected under the con- 
stitution and laws of the United States. 

The third and last explanation contained in the protocol is that " the 



312 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

government of the United States, by suppressing the concluding paragraph 
of article twelfth of the treaty, did not intend to deprive the Mexican republic 
of the free and unrestrained faculty of ceding, conveying, or transferring, 
at any time, (as it may judge best,) the sum of the twelve millions of 
dollars which the same government of the United States is to deliver in the 
places designated by the amended article." 

The concluding paragraph of the original twelfth article, thus sup- 
pressed by the Senate, is in the following language, " certificates in proper 
form, for the said instalments respectively, in such sums as shall be desired 
by the Mexican government, and transferable by it, shall be delivered to 
the said government by that of the United States." 

From this bare statement of facts, the meaning of the protocol is obvious. 
Although the Senate had declined to create a government stock for the 
twelve millions of dollars, and issue transferable certificates for the amount, 
in such sums as the Mexican government might desire, yet they could not 
have intended thereby to deprive that government of the faculty which 
every creditor possesses of transferring for his own benefit the obligation 
of his debtor, whatever this may be worth, according to his will and pleasure. 

It cannot be doubted that the twelfth article of the treaty, as it now 
stands, contains a positive obligation, " in consideration of the extension 
acquired by the boundaries of the United States," to pay to the Mexican 
republic twelve millions of dollars, in four equal annual instalments of three 
millions each. This obligation may be assigned by the Mexican government 
to any person whatever; but the assignee in such case would stand in no 
better condition than the government. The amendment of the Senate, 
prohibiting the issue of a government transferable stock for the amount, 
produces this effect and no more. 

The protocol contains nothing from which it can be inferred that the 
assignee could rightfully demand the payment of the money, in case the 
consideration should fail, which is stated on the face of the obligation. 

With this view of the whole protocol, and considering that the explana- 
tions which it contained were in accordance with the treaty, I did not deem 
it necessary to take any action upon the subject. Had it varied from the 
terms of the treaty as amended by the Senate, although it would, even then, 
have been a nullity in itself, yet duty might have required that I should 
make this fact known to the Mexican government. This not being the case, 
I treated it in the same manner I would have done had these explanations 
been made verbally by the commissioners to the Mexican minister for foreign 
affairs, and communicated in a despatch to the State Department. 

James K. Polk. 
Washington, February 8, 1849. 



1849] TO THE PRESIDENT 313 

TO MR. TOUCEY/ 

Department of State, 
Washington, February 8th, 1849, 
Sir: I have the honor to enclose to you a translation of 
a letter which I have just received from the French Minister, 
Mr, Poussin, respecting what he considers as an infraction of 
his diplomatic privileges; and request that you would give me 
your opinion whether any thing and what can be legally done 
for the relief of Mr. Marie, his attache. 

I am Sir &c. 

James Buchanan, 
To the Hon. Isaac Toucey, Secretary of State. 

Attorn ev General, U. S. 



TO THE PRESIDENT.^ 

[February 9, 1849.] 
To the President of the United States. 

The Secretary of State, to whom was referred the Resolu- 
tion of the Senate of the 6th Inst, requesting the President to 



^MSS. Department of State, 2)7 Domestic Letters, 106. 

' MSS. Department of State, Report Book, VI. 277. This report was 
transmitted on the same day by President Polk to the Senate, with the fol- 
lowing message (Richardson's Messages, IV. 687) : 
To THE Senate of the United States : 

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 6th instant, 
requesting the President to cause to be laid before that body, in " executive 
or open session, in his discretion, any instructions given to Ambrose H. 
Sevier and Nathan Clifford, commissioned as ministers plenipotentiary on 
the part of the United States to the Government of Mexico, or to either of 
said ministers, prior to the ratification by the Government of Mexico of the 
treaty of peace between the United States and that Republic," and certain 
correspondence and other papers specified in the said resolution, I com- 
municate herewith a report from the Secretary of State, together with copies 
of the documents called for. 

Having on the 8th instant, in compliance with a resolution of the House 
of Representatives in its terms more comprehensive than that of the Senate, 
communicated these and all other papers appertaining to the same subject, 
with a message to that House, this communication is made to the Senate in 
" open " and not in " executive " session. 

James K. Polk. 
Washington, February 9, 1849. 



314 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

communicate to that Body certain documents relative to the 
ratification by the Mexican Government of the Treaty of 
Guadalupe Hidalgo as amended by the Senate, has the honor to 
lay before the President the papers mentioned in the subjoined 
list, which embrace all in this Department called for by the 
Resolution. 

Respectfully submitted, 

James Buchanan. 
Department of State, Washington, 9th February, 1849. 



TO MR. CRAMPTON.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 9th Feby., 1849. 
John F. Crampton, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

Your note of the 17th ultimo, together with the accompany- 
ing memorandum on the existing navigation laws of Great 
Britain, was, immediately after its receipt, referred to the 
Treasur}^ Department; and I have now^ the honor to enclose to 
you a copy of the report of the Secretary of the Treasury, dated 
on the 31st ultimo, in relation to the subject. 

You state that you have been '' directed to ascertain, at the 
earliest possible period, whether the United States will be pre- 
pared to accept advances made on the part of Great Britain for 
placing the ships of the two countries on a footing of equality, 
with the single reservation of the coasting trade; or whether the 
United States Government would prefer to preserve any par- 
ticular privileges or exemptions to their national vessels, on the 
understanding that they may thereby render it impossible for 
this country to concede to United States shipping the whole of 
the advantages which will, under the contemplated measure, [the 
bill to modify the British navigation laws,] attach to the shipping 
of such States as may place British and national vessels upon a 
footing of more perfect equality." 

The most satisfactory answer which I can give to these 
inquiries is contained in the first section of the act of Congress, 
approved on the 24th May, 1828, entitled " An Act in addition 



MSS. Department of State, Notes to Great Britain, VII. 194. 



1849] TO MR. CRAMPTON 315 

to an Act entitled ' An Act concerning discriminating- duties of 
tonnage and impost,' and to equalize the duties on Prussian 
vessels and their cargoes." The following is a copy of this 
section : 

" [Sect. I.] Be it enacted by the Senate and House of 
Representatives of the United States of America in Congress 
assembled, That, upon satisfactory evidence being given to the 
President of the United States, by the Government of any 
foreign nation, that no discriminating duties of tonnage or impost 
are imposed or levied in the ports of the said nation upon vessels 
wholly belonging to citizens of the United States, or upon the 
produce, manufactures, or merchandise imported in the same 
from the United States, or from any foreign country, the 
President is hereby authorized to issue his proclamation, declar- 
ing that the foreign discriminating duties of tonnage and 
impost, within the United States, are, and shall be, suspended 
and discontinued, so far as respects the vessels of the said foreign 
nation, and the produce, manufactures, or merchandise imported 
into the United States in the same, from the said foreign nation, 
or from any other foreign country; the said suspension to take 
effect from the time of such notification being given to the 
President of the United States, and to continue so long as the 
reciprocal exemption of vessels belonging to citizens of the 
United States, and their cargoes, as aforesaid, shall be continued, 
and no longer." 

You will thus perceive that the Congress of the United 
States, more than twenty years ago, by this act, offered to open 
their ports to the vessels of all nations, — with their cargoes, — 
no matter to what country these cargoes might owe their origin, 
or from what foreign place they might be imported into our 
country, upon payment of the same duties ''of tonnage or im- 
post " with our own vessels ; provided such nations should extend 
similar privileges in their ports to the vessels belonging to citizens 
of the United States, and their cargoes. Great Britain may, 
therefore, at any moment, by complying with the fair and equit- 
able conditions required by this act, place her vessels and their 
cargoes, both in our direct and indirect foreign trade, upon the 
same footing with vessels of the United States. The coasting 
trade is of course reserved. 

Indeed, the liberal principles of reciprocity in commerce and 
navigation sanctioned by this act had been practically adopted 
previous to its passage, in treaties which had been concluded by 



316 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

the United States with Denmark, Sweden, the Hanseatic Repub- 
lics, and Prussia, and have since been carried into effect in 
treaties conchided with Austria, Russia, and other Powers; all 
of which are still in force. Besides, proclamations have, also, 
been issued at several periods, conferring the benefits which the 
act proposes on different foreign nations who had furnished '^ the 
satisfactory evidence " required by its provisions. 

The United States, therefore, so far from having waited 
'' to accept advances made on the part of Great Britain for 
placing the ships of the two countries on a footing of equality, 
with the single reservation of the coasting trade," had them- 
selves, more than twenty years ago, by an act of Congress, made 
advances for this ver}' purpose to Great Britain and all other 
nations. I might add, that the President, in accordance with 
the spirit of this act, has already made a specific proposal to 
Great Britain, by a note from Mr. Bancroft, our Minister at 
London, to Lord Palmerston, dated 3d November, 1847, to 
conclude a treaty providing " that British ships may trade from 
any port in the world to any port in the L^nited States, and be 
received, protected, and, in respect to charges and duties, treated 
like American ships; if, reciprocally, American ships may, in like 
manner, trade from any port of the world to any port under 
the dominion of Her Britannic Majesty." Of course, this 
proposal was not intended to embrace the coasting trade of either 
country. 

Yours very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. HYATT.^ 



(No. 5.) Department of State, 

Washington, 9th February, 1849. 
Thomas H. LIyatt, Esqre., 

United States Consul, Tangier. 
Sir: — 

I wrote to you on the 5th December last, and I have now 
the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your despatches Nos. 7, 
8, and 9 — the last on the ist instant. 

The depredations committed by the barbarians who dwell 



*MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Barbary Powers, XIV. 87. 



1849] TO MR. HYATT 317 

on the Reef Coast of Morocco — of which the details conveyed 
in your No. 7 show you to be fully aware — will demand of you 
unceasing vigilance; and it is highly probable, from what you 
state, that the English Government may find itself constrained 
to repress and punish the cruelties recently practised upon some 
of their subjects on that Coast. 

Your predecessor, Mr. Carr, was early informed that the 
United States would hold the Emperor responsible for every 
wrong of this character to the persons or property of their 
citizens, inflicted or tolerated within his dominions, in violation 
of the established laws of civilized nations. In consequence of 
suggestions on the part of your predecessor, that piracies had 
probably been perpetrated on American vessels, both on the 
Atlantic and Mediterranean Coasts of Morocco, inquiries were 
instituted, and one of our vessels of war even visited the port 
of Wednoon; but no facts were elicited to confirm the sus- 
picion. The result, indeed, strengthened me in the opinion which 
I had previously formed, that no outrages had really occurred. 
If such had been the case, we should almost certainly have 
learned at least that American vessels on that Coast had been 
missing; a fact which was never asserted to our knowledge. 
Mr. Carr, notwithstanding, believed, and continues to believe, 
that the rumors in question were not without foundation. 

You will, on the receipt of this despatch, lose no time in 
investigating the subject fully, in order to ascertain the truth 
of the statements or rumors in question. If there shall appear 
to you, upon inquiry, to be any good grounds for believing that 
mischief has been done or is menaced by these pirates, you are 
at once to communicate with the Commander of our Mediter- 
ranean Squadron, and acquaint him with any facts or suspicions 
within your knowledge, which may require prompt interposition 
on his part. 

You will as early as possible report to this Department on 
the subject; and, if necessary, suitable instructions will be trans- 
mitted to you. This Government will not patiently suffer the 
Corsairs of Barbary to make the entrance of the Mediterranean 
a place of danger or even of apprehension to civilized commerce. 

I have directed an extract to be made, and published in the 
" Union," of that portion of your No. 8 which announces a 
reduction of export duties on several staples of Morocco. 

It is necessary to remind you that, by instruction, your 
salary was made to commence on the ist April, 1848; and that 



318 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

you are, therefore, without any warrant in assuming- another 
date. 

I am, Sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



FROM MR. DE LA ROSA.^ 

[Translation.] 

Mexican Legation, 
Washington, February lo, 1849. 

The undersigned, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of 
the republic of Mexico, has the honor to address the honorable Secretary of 
State of the United States in order to make known to him that the Mexican 
government, being anxiously interested in preserving and drawing more 
closely together the relations of peace and friendship which happily subsist 
between the two republics, cannot but see with surprise and with -pain the 
questions which have been raised within a few days in the very bosom of 
Congress respecting the character and validity of the Protocol of the con- 
ferences which were held, previous to the ratification and exchange of the 
treaty of peace at Queretaro on the 26th of May of the last year, between 
the Minister of Foreign Relations of Mexico and the Commissioners Pleni- 
potentiary of the United States. 

The undersigned believes that if, unfortunately, these questions should 
not be brought to a prompt and happy termination, they would, in the end, 
place in jeopardy the amity and good understanding which, for the benefit 
of humanity and civilization, and to the advantage of both nations, actually 
subsist between Mexico and the United States, how great soever might be 
the efforts which the governments of the two nations might make to avoid 
a fatal disagreement between themselves. 

The government of the undersigned might be, to a certain extent, reas- 
sured, on seeing in the message of his Excellency the President, addressed 
to the House of Representatives, that the government of the United States 
gives to certain articles of the treaty of Guadalupe the same sense and the 
same understanding which should be given to them agreeably to the expla- 
nations assigned in the Protocol above mentioned. But as there may be, 
at the same time, in that message, certain passages from which it may be 
inferred that no value is attributed to the Protocol in question, the under- 
signed believes that these expressions will exceedingly alarm his govern- 
ment, and may possibly occasion a serious and dangerous agitation among 
the Mexican people. 

In order to avert this evil and its consequences, the undersigned anxiously 
desires to be enabled to assure his government, in a manner firm, clear, and 
positive, that the government of the United States will never give to the 
articles and modifications of the treaty, to which the Protocol relates, any 
other sense or other interpretation than that resulting from the explanations 



S. Ex. Doc. I, 31 Cong, i Sess. 69. 



1849] TO MR. BANCROFT 319 

of the said articles and modifications which were given by the plenipoten- 
tiaries of the United States on signing the Protocol in question at Queretaro. 

If the undersigned should receive from the honorable Secretary of State 
a clear and categorical answer, by which he would be enabled to give to 
his government the assurance mentioned in the preceding paragraph, the 
question of the Protocol will have no serious consequences, nor will it in 
the least degree endanger the peace and the amicable relations which the 
treaty of Guadalupe re-established between Mexico and the United States. 

As the newspapers of the United States may speedily reach Mexico, and 
there occasion a most fatal alarm, the undersigned hopes that the Secretary 
of State will afford him the pleasure of receiving as promptly as possible 
an answer, which he may despatch to his government. 

The undersigned embraces this occasion to repeat to the honorable 
Secretary of State the assurance of his most distinguished consideration. 

Luis de la Rosa. 
Hon. James Buchanan, 

Secretary of State of the United States. 



TO MR. BANCROFT.^ 

(No. 47.) Department of State, 

Washington, 12th Feby., 1849. 
George Bancroft, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

Your despatch No. 112, of the 12th January, was received 
at the Department on the ist instant. 

You seem to doubt the propriety of presenting to the British 
Government a protest, according to my instructions of the i8th 
December last, against the orders of the Irish Government issued 
on the 2d and i8th of the previous August. Your suggestions 
on this subject have been submitted to the President; and after a 
careful reexamination of the documents, he still believes you 
ought to prepare and present the protest. 

In reiterating this instruction, it is not intended to convey 
the slightest intimation that you have not done your whole duty 
in the case of Messrs. Bergen and Ryan. " The full significance " 
of your very able despatch to Lord Palmerston, of the loth 
November, was properly appreciated by the President, and 
received his cordial approval. This appears from the general 
phraseology of my despatch to you of the i8th December, in 



'MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Great Britain, XV. 379. 



320 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

which I state that '' the President has directed me to express to 
you his approbation of your able, persevering, and successful 
efforts to obtain the release of Mr. James Bergen and Mr. 
Richard F. Ryan, the two American citizens imprisoned in 
Newgate, Dublin, under the Act of the British Parliament of 
25th July last, (nth and 12th Victoria, Cap. 35) upon suspicion 
of treasonable practices against the British Government." The 
protest which you have been instructed to make, far from de- 
tracting from the President's previous approbation of your 
conduct in regard to these offensive orders, is setting his seal to 
all you have already done in this particular, and confirming it in 
the strongest manner. 

You express the opinion that it would be somewhat late to 
protest now ; because " the orders have long since been inopera- 
tive, and the laws under w^hich they were issued are already a 
dead letter, and wall expire in a few weeks." But these facts 
neither cancel nor change the character of the offensive orders. 
Besides, the instruction w^as sent to you as soon as possible after 
I had received the necessary information on which to found it. 

You doubt whether the letter of your Irish correspondent 
is a sufficient authority " on which to ground a protest ; " and 
any protest which you could have made before the receipt of that 
instruction would necessarily have been without the express 
authority of your Government. He, as w^e both know, is a 
highly respectable individual; and you have strong evidence to 
corroborate his statement. 

There is your note to Lord Palmerston of the 12th Septem- 
ber, 1848, asking for copies of these orders, with which you 
ought to have been furnished without hesitation, because they 
related exclusively to " all persons coming from America " and 
arriving in Ireland, and we had therefore a right to know the 
penalties denounced against them in advance; and then we have 
Lord Palmerston's refusal, in his note to you of the 30th Sep- 
tember, to grant your request, without even intimating that 
such orders had not been issued. On the contrary, he admits 
their existence by the strongest implication; and concludes his 
note with an expression not very unlike a defiance. '' But," says 
his Lordship, " Her Majesty's Government are responsible for 
all acts which may be done in consequence of such instructions ; 
and from their responsibility, in this respect, they have no wish 
or intention to shrink." There is also your own letter to Lord 
Palmerston, of the loth November, 1848, in which vou state 



f tl- 

1849] *^ ' TO MR. HAMILTON 321 

specifically the existence and substance of the order of the 2d 
August, 1848; and this statement has never been denied. In- 
deed, if I correctly understand the lettter of Sir William Somer- 
ville to Mr. G. Cornewall Lewis, of the 28th November, 1848, 
communicated with your No. 105, this is expressly admitted, 
accompanied by a labored attempt to justify the order. 

You will remark that your instruction does not require that 
you should renew the discussion of the case of Messrs. Bergen 
and Ryan. It is confined specifically to the character of these 
very offensive orders. 

I am, Sir, respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. HAMILTON.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, Feb: 13th, 1849. 
Robert M. Hamilton Esqre. 

LI. S. Consul, Montevideo. 
Sir, 

Your despatches Nos. 153, 154, 155, & 156, the latter 
covering a duplicate of No. 152, have been received. 

A copy of your No. 154 respecting the Brig "Carolina," 
E. M. Jefferson, Master, has been sent to the Agent of the 
Protection Insurance Company of Hartford, residing at New 
York. 

The Department is gratified to see that no efforts are 
spared on your part to protect the Commercial interests of 
our Country in Montevideo, and the remonstrances addressed 
by you to the Minister of Foreign Affairs against the onerous 
Impost levied by a Decree of that Government, on the 4th of 
May last, of $15 per Barrel on Flour, to take effect from that 
date, without anterior notice, are fully approved. 

Enclosed is a duplicate of my letter of the 25th September 
last, in reply to your No. 151, upon the subject of the proposi- 
tion made by the Montevidean Government for the payment of 
the Claim of Messrs. Musser & Co. 

I am. Sir, &c. 

James Buchanan. 



MSS. Department of State, Despatches to Consuls, XIII. 148. 
Vol. VIII— 21 



322 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

TO MR. WELLER/ 

Department of State, 
Washington, 13th February, 1849. 
Sir: In my instructions to you of the 24th Ultimo, I 
promised to send you further instructions before your departure 
from the United States. I now proceed to perform this duty. 
The fifth article of our Treaty with Mexico, of the 2d Feb- 
ruary, 1848, as amended by the Senate, (two copies of which 
are herewith transmitted) clearly prescribes your duties. This 
article places you in a highly responsible position; because it 
declares that the Boundary line between the two Republics, which 
shall be run and marked by the joint commission, shall be deemed 
a part of the Treaty, " and vshall have the same force as if it were 
inserted therein." The action of the Commission, therefore, will 
be final and conclusive; and the President has full confidence 
that in the discharge of your important duties your conduct will 
be characterized by prudence, firmness, and a conciliatory spirit. 
Whilst he desires no advantage over the Mexican Government, 
you will take care, in running the boundaiy, that all our just 
rights, under the Treaty, shall be maintained. 

Your first duty will be to run and mark that part of the 
Boundary, consisting of a straight line, from a " point on the 
Coast of the Pacific Ocean, distant one marine league due South 
of the Southernmost point of the port of San Diego " to " the 
middle of the Rio Gila, where it unites with the Colorado." 
It is not apprehended that you will encounter much difiiculty 
in determining either of these points. This Southernmost point 
of the Port of San Diego is to be ascertained by the Treaty, 
" according to the plan of said port made in the year 1782' by 
Don Juan Pantoja, second Sailing Master of the Spanish fleet, 
and published at Madrid, in the year 1802, in the atlas to the 
voyage of the Schooners Sutil and Mexicana, of which plan a 
copy is hereunto added, signed and sealed by the respective 
Plenipotentiaries." You are furnished with a certified copy of 
this plan, which appears to fix precisely what is the Southern 
limit of the port of San Diego, and a point on the Pacific " one 
marine league due South " of this is the place of beginning. 
The middle of the Rio Gila, where it unites with the Colorado, 



^MSS. Department of State, 37 Domestic Letters, 165; S. Ex. Doc. 18, 
31 Cong. I Sess. 87; S. Ex. Doc. 34, 31 Cong, i Sess. 3; H. Ex. Doc. 17, 
31 Cong. I Sess. 63, 



1849] TO MR. WELLER 323 

being a natural object, there can be but little difficulty in ascer- 
taining this point. 

The duties of the Surveyor are sufficiently indicated by the 
Treaty itself ; those of Major William H. Emory, the Chief 
Astronomer, will be to determine all astronomical points, and to 
direct the mode of running all astronomical lines on the boundary. 
Lieutenant J. W. Whipple and Brevet Captain E. L. F. Hard- 
castle of the Corps of Topographical Engineers have been desig- 
nated, under the authority of the President, to accompany Major 
Emory as his assistants. 

The remainder of the Boundary runs along the middle of 
the Rio Gila and the Rio Grande, with the exception of that 
portion of it between '' the point where the Rio Grande strikes 
the Southern Boundary of New Mexico; thence Westwardly, 
along the whole Southern Boundary of New Mexico (which 
runs north of the Town called Paso) to its w:estern termination; 
thence Northward, along the Western line of New IVlexico until 
it intersects the first branch of the Rio Gila (or if it should not 
intersect any branch of that river, then to the point on the said 
line nearest to such branch, and thence in a direct line to the 
same)." 

In regard to this latter position of the line it is impossible 
to give you specific instructions, for the want of accurate Geo- 
graphical information. It can only be ascertained by examina- 
tions and surveys upon the ground. Besides, the Treaty itself 
declares that '' the Southern and Western limits of New Mexico, 
nbentioned in this article, are those laid down on the Map "of 
the United Mexican States, published at New York, in 1847, by 
J. Disturnell, of which a copy was added to the Treaty, bearing 
the signature and seals of the Plenipotentiaries. You are now 
furnished with a certified copy of this Map. 

You are, also, furnished, as bearing upon this subject, with 
the copy of a Map of New Mexico which was attached to the 
atlas to Thompson's edition of the Geographical and Historical 
Dictionary of America and the West Indies, by Col. Don Antonio 
de Alcedo, published at London in 1812, — a work of the highest 
authority. 

My successor in office will most probably obtain further 
information in regard to this portion of the line; and as the 
work progresses will doubtless deem it proper to give you 
further instructions. I deem it unnecessary, therefore, to say 
more at present upon the subject. 



SM THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

I need scarcely add, that the President expects you will 
perform your duties under the Treaty with as little delay as 
practicable consistently with accuracy. 

As it is indispensable that each Government should be fur- 
nished with a full and circumstantial record of the proceedings 
of the Commissioners, they will doubtless order such record to 
be kept in duplicate. This duty will naturally devolve upon the 
Clerks appointed on both sides, under the supervision of the 
respective Commissioners, who will be responsible for the 
accuracy of such records and for their safe delivery, properly 
certified, to the respective Governments, at the expiration of the 
Commission. You will, with that view, provide the Clerk ap- 
pointed on the part of the United States with suitable instructions 
respecting this and any other duty which it shall be deemed 
proper to assign to him. 

As soon as the boundary shall have been ascertained and 
marked, you wall cause a true and accurate map to be made of 
the country through which it passes, in its entire extent. A 
duplicate copy of said Map certified by the Commissioners and 
Surveyors, on both sides, will accompany the records of the 
proceedings of the Commission. The joint report or declaration 
by the Commissioners of " the final result agreed upon by them " 
under the fifth article of the Treaty wall also be transmitted to 
the Department, to be filed with the journal or record of their 
proceedings and the Map. 

As soon as the Commission shall be organized, you will 
transmit to this Department a list containing the names of the 
several persons composing it, the nature of the duties assigned 
to each individual, and the compensation allowed to them re- 
spectively ; and will, also, from time to time inform the Secretary 
of State of any change which you may, by circumstances, be 
induced to make in its organization. 

The sixth article of the Treaty provides that "If, by the 
examinations which may be made, it should be ascertained to be 
practicable and advantageous to construct a road, canal, or 
railway which should in whole or in part run upon the river 
Gila, or upon its right or its left bank, within the space of one 
Marine league from either margin of the river, the Governments 
of both Republics will form an agreement regarding its con- 
struction, in order that it may serve equally for the use and 
advantage of both Countries." 

Although you are not required to make the examinations 



1849] TO MR. WELLER 325 

referred to in this article under the appropriation made by 
Congress on the 12th of August last, which is limited to ''the 
expenses of running and marking the boundary line," yet the 
President would be gratified if you could cause these examina- 
tions to be made, incidentally, without seriously interfering with 
your appropriate duties. The enquiry is one of great importance 
to the country; and any information which you can communicate 
to the Department on the subject will be highly appreciated by 
our fellow citizens. 

Major Emory has received from Major Graham under my 
instructions all the instruments belonging to the Department 
which he believed to be suitable for running the Boundary line 
between the two Republics. In a report which he made to the 
Department, dated at New York on the 4th Instant, he states 
that these are not sufficient, and furnished a list of those which 
will be required. Several of the latter he deems indispensable 
that he should carry with him : to wit, 

I Box chronometer $285 

I Heliotrope 100 

I Reconnoitring glass 50 

I Portable astronomical telescope 190 

4 Nautical almanacs 1849 10 

I Copy catalogue stars B. Assoc. 20 

I vSet of charts coast of California 2 

1 Daniels's hygrometer 15 
4 Hassler's logarithms at $1 4 
6 Thermometers at $4 24 
6 Observing lamps 15 
4 Cases drawing instruments at $10 40 
4 Bottles ether (sulphuric) 

J4 Bushel plaster of Paris 

2 Observing tents at $40 80 
I Equatorial stand, price estimated at 100 

In your absence, the President has not hesitated to advise 
him to purchase these instruments, not doubting that you would 
promptly pay for them out of the appropriation. As it will be 
impossible for him to reach New Orleans before the 28th 
Instant ; you will not take your departure thence until after his 
arrival. 

The President has determined that your salary shall be at 
the rate of $ per annum and that of the Surveyor at the 



326 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

rate of $ per annum; but should Congress before its ad- 
journment fix your salaries at different rates, this will be the 
guide in settling your accounts from the beginning. 

The military escort on the part of the United States, to 
accompany the Commission, has been placed by the President 
under the direction of the Secretary of War. 

I am, Sir, &c. 

James Buchanan. 
To J. B. Weller, Esq., Commissioner &c. 



FROM MR. DE LA ROSA/ 

Mexican Legation, 
Washington, February 14; 1849. 
The undersigned, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of 
Mexico, has the honor to address Mr. James Buchanan, Secretary of State 
of the United States, in order to remind him of the answer to his note of 
the loth of the present month. 

It is so urgent upon the undersigned to tranquillize his government in 
some degree, by communicating to it the result of the note above mentioned, 
that he cannot do less than entreat the Secretary of State to consider that 
the question which has been raised as to the character and validity of the 
Protocol may seriously jeopard the amity and good understanding which 
happily exist between Mexico and the United States; and that upon this 
consideration he will be pleased to give to this affair some preference over 
the others which occupy his attention. 

If the Secretary of State should think proper to delay his communication 
much longer, the undersigned, without incurring censure for precipitation 
and thoughtlessness, would find himself under the necessity of adopting some 
measure which may place the rights of Mexico in security on this question. 
The undersigned avails himself of this occasion to repeat to the Secre- 
tary of State of the United States the assurances of his distinguished 
consideration. 

Luis de la Rosa. 
Hon. James Buchanan, 

Secretary of State of the United States. 



* S. Ex. Doc. I, 31 'Cong, i Sess. 70. 



1849] TO M. POUSSIN 327 

TO M. POUSSIN/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 15th Feby., 1849. 
Mr. William Tell Poussin, 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of 
yesterday, referring to your previous letter, dated the 8th instant, 
in which you complain of an act of violence committed by an 
innkeeper of this city, in regard to Mr. Marie, an attache of 
your Legation, and claim that the negessary measures may be 
taken to assure to that gentleman the protection to which his 
position entitles him, and, in the absence of a reply to that appli- 
cation, renewing and insisting on your claim for the intervention 
of this Government in obtaining prompt reparation of the alleged 
insult offered to one of the members of the Legation of France. 

You had expected, you state, that, under the peculiar circum- 
stances of the case, the matter would have received immediate 
attention. You were right in that expectation, so far as it regards 
this Department, since your letter, on the very day of its receipt, 
was promptly referred to the Attorney General of the United 
States for his opinion on certain legal points which your com- 
plaint involved, and on which it was necessary to have his advice 
before I could address you a definitive reply. The opinion of 
Mr. Toucey in relation to the case reached me last evening, and 
I hasten at the earliest moment to communicate to you a copy 
of it, in answer to your application. Trusting that its contents 
will prove entirely satisfactory to you, and sincerely regretting 
that any difficulty of the kind referred to should have arisen, I 
have the honor to be, with high consideration. Sir, your obedient 
servant, 

James Buchanan. 



^ MSS. Department of State, Notes to French Legation, VL 126. 



328 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

TO MR. DE LA ROSA/ 

Department of State, 
Washington, 15th February, 1849. 

Sir: I have had the honor to receive the note of Your 
Excellency of the loth instant. 

This note expresses the surprise and pain which Your Excel- 
lency experiences on account of '' the questions which have been 
raised, within a few days, in the very bosom of Congress, respect- 
ing the character and validity of the Protocol of the conferences " 
at Queretaro, to which you refer, between the Mexican Minister 
of Foreign Relations and the Commissioners of the United States. 
Your Excellency believes *' that if, unfortunately, these questions 
[in Congress] should not be brought to a prompt and happy ter- 
mination, they would in the end place in jeopardy the amity and 
good understanding " now so happily subsisting between the two 
Republics. You state that the Mexican Government " might be to 
a certain extent reassured, on seeing in the Message of His Excel- 
lency the President, addressed to the House of Representatives, 
that the Government of the United States gives to certain articles 
of the Treaty of Guadalupe the same sense and the same under- 
standing which should be given to them, agreeably to the expla- 
nations assigned in the Protocol above mentioned ; " but you 
then proceed to observe that there are other passages of the 
Message, without specifying what these are, " from which it 
may be inferred that no value is attributed to the Protocol in 
question/' and you believe '' that these expressions will exceed- 
ingly alarm your Government," and " may probably occasion a 
serious and dangerous agitation among the Mexican people." 

" In order to avert this evil," arising from " the questions 
which have been raised " in Congress and " in certain passages " 
in the Message of the President, you express the anxious desire 
that the Government of the United States would enable you to 
assure your Government, " in a manner firm, clear, and positive, 
that the Government of the United States will never give to the 
articles and modifications of the Treaty to which the Protocol 
relates," any other interpretation than that contained in the 
Protocol itself. 

I have been thus minute in detailing the substance of your 



^MSS. Department of State, Notes to Mexican Legation, VI. 197; S. Ex. 
Doc. I, 31 Cong. I Sess. 71. 



1849] TO MR. DE LA ROSA 329 

note, for the purpose of showing that it clearly raises the ques- 
tion, whether a foreign Minister accredited to the United States 
has the right to ask explanations from the President concerning 
the debates and proceedings of Congress, or any Message which 
he may transmit to either House in the exercise of his constitu- 
tional power and duty. 

Under the constitution of the United States, Congress is a 
distinct, independent, and coordinate branch of the Federal Gov- 
ernment. Their legislative powers and duties are of the most 
important and responsible character. The President himself pos- 
sesses no power whatever to question or to control their proceed- 
ings, except in the single case of the qualified veto conferred upon 
him by the Constitution. To secure their absolute freedom of dis- 
cussion, a vital principle in every popular Government, the Con- 
stitution itself declares, in regard to Senators and Representa- 
tives, that " for any speech or debate in either House, they shall 
not be questioned in any other place." The President would 
violate the most sacred rights of the legislative branch of the 
Government, if he were to criticise or condemn any portion of 
their proceedings, even to his own countrymen ; much less, there- 
fore, can he be called upon by the Representative of a foreign 
government for any explanation, condemnation, defence, or ap- 
proval of these proceedings. For them Congress is responsible to 
their own constituents and their country, and to no other human 
power. This inviolability is essential to the permanence of our 
free institutions. 

It is believed that so far as regards the debates or proceed- 
ings of Congress, this is the first occasion in our history on which 
it has become necessary to address the Representative of any 
foreign Government. Not so in relation to the Messages of the 
President to Congress. There is at least one case of a similar 
character which you may find in the archives of your own Lega- 
tion. Mr. Castillo, one of your predecessors, in a note of the nth 
December, 1835, addressed to Mr. Forsyth, then Secretary of 
State, called upon him for an explanation of the meaning of a 
paragraph relating to Mexico contained in President Jackson's 
annual message to Congress of December, 1835. The answer of 
Mr. Forsyth was prompt and decided. In a note dated on the 
1 6th December, 1835, he informed Mr. Castillo, " that remarks 
made by the President in a Message to Congress are not deemed 
a proper subject upon which to enter into explanation with the 
Representative of a foreign Government." On a somewhat simi- 



330 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

lar occasion, Mr. Livingston, then our Minister to France, on 
the 13th January, 1835, informed the French Minister for Foreign 
Affairs that in the Message of President Jackson to Congress of 
the previous December, " there was nothing addressed to the 
French nation," and he Hkened it very properly " to a proceeding 
well known in the French law, a family council, in which the 
concerns and interests are discussed, but of which, in our case, the 
debates were necessarily public." 

Under our Constitution, it is the duty of the President " from 
time to time to give to the Congress information of the state of 
the Union, and recommend to their consideration such measures 
as he shall deem necessary and expedient." It is indispensable 
to the independent action of the Government that these communi- 
cations between its coordinate branches should be free and unre- 
served. These are properly likened by Mr. Livingston to a family 
council. It is a domestic concern with which foreign nations have 
no right to interfere. If this were otherwise; if the Representa- 
tive of a foreign Government could ask the President for expla- 
nations of such parts of his Messages to Congress or of their 
proceedings as might in the opinion of such Minister prove unsat- 
isfactory to his Government at home, this would necessarily either 
impose a restraint on the freedom of action both of the President 
and Congress, or involve the Executive in endless and useless 
discussions with the other Powers of the world. 

A case could not be imagined more proper than the present 
to illustrate how useless such discussions would generally prove. 
Congress have not adopted any resolution concerning the Pro- 
tocol ; and the only portion of the President's Message in which 
the interests of Mexico would seem to be involved has not proved 
unsatisfactory to Your Excellency ; because you state that " it 
gives to certain articles of the Treaty of Guadalupe the same 
sense and the same understanding which should be given to them 
agreeably to the explanations assigned in the Protocol above 
mentioned." It is of other passages of the Message which you 
do not specify that you complain. Now how useless would it 
be, even if this were possible, for us to enter into a correspondence 
upon these other portions of the Message, discussing, as they do, 
the powers and duties of the President and Senate under the 
Federal Constitution in relation to the subject of Treaties. These 
passages may be right or they may be wrong ; and yet Mexico has 
no practical interest in the question. 

The President will be ever ready, in the kindest spirit, to 



1849] TO MR. DE LA ROSA 331 

attend to all representations of the Mexican Government com- 
municated in a form which does not interfere with his own rights 
or those of Congress. It is to vindicate a great principle which he 
deems essential to the free and harmonious working of our insti- 
tutions, that he has resolved upon the answer which I communi- 
cate to you upon the present occasion. His desire to cultivate 
the most amicable relations with Mexico has been evinced by his 
whole course of conduct ever since the termination of the late 
war. There is no wish nearer his heart than that Mexico may 
be a great and prosperous Republic bound to the United States in 
bonds of the most intimate and equal friendship. So far as 
depends upon himself, it has ever been his determination to 
execute every part of the late Treaty in the strictest good faith ; 
and certainly no portion of it is less liable to cavil or doubt than 
the three points explained by our Commissioners in the Protocol. 
If in the process of time any case should arise, an event deemed 
highly improbable, which might cause the Mexican Government 
to suppose either that the perfect and absolute freedom of religion 
and security of property will not be guarantied to former Mexican 
citizens within the ceded territory; or that valid and legitimate 
grants of land made by the Mexican Government within this ter- 
ritory will not be acknowledged and enforced by our Judicial 
Tribunals ; or that the United States will attempt to interfere with 
the right vested in that Government, in common with every other 
creditor, of transferring, to whomsoever they may please, the 
whole or any part of the debt of $12,000,000 referred to in the 
Treaty, all that will be necessary is to specify the points of sup- 
posed difficulty either through their Minister in this country or 
through our Minister in Mexico, and these will be promptly and 
I have no doubt satisfactorily answered. 

I had written thus far when your note of yesterday was 
received at the Department. Not deeming it proper to give it 
any other answer than merely to acknowledge its receipt, I for- 
bear from making such comments upon its last paragraph as this 
would seem to deserve. 

I avail myself of this occasion to offer to your Excellency 
renewed assurances of my very distinguished consideration. 

James Buchanan. 
To Senor Don Luis de la Rosa, &c. &c. &c.^ 



^This correspondence was continued by Mr. de la Rosa and Mr. 
Buchanan's successor, John M. Clayton. See S. Ex. Doc. i, 31 Cong, i Sess. 
73-89. 



332 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

TO MR. CASS/ 

(No. 2.) Department of State, 

Washington, i6th February, 1849. 
Lewis Cass, Junr., Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

I communicate, herewith, a Letter of Credence addressed to 
the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Papal States, and an office 
copy of the same. 

From the poHtical condition of the Papal States, at the 
present time, it is not deemed proper that you should deliver this 
letter either to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Pius IX. or of 
the existing Government at Rome, without further instructions. 
The Pope, by our last advices, still remains at Gaeta, within the 
territories of the King of Naples; and it is only as a temporal 
Prince, exercising actual authority within his own Dominions, 
that the Government of the United States can have any relations 
with His Holiness. This you have already learned from my 
instructions to Mr. Martin, your lamented predecessor, dated on 
the 5th April, 1848. 

In regard to the present Government at Rome : — although it 
has been the constant policy and practice of this Government to 
recognise existing Governments, without inquiring into their 
legitimacy, yet with this exception, that they shall have first 
afforded evidence of their will and their power to maintain their 
independence, this cannot yet be asserted in regard to the existing 
Government at Rome. Its recent origin and the almost insuper- 
able difficulties by which it is surrounded, render it extremely 
doubtful whether it will be able to maintain itself. Indeed, I 
consider the speedy restoration of the Pope highly probable, if not 
absolutely certain. 

Under these circumstances, you are instructed to withhold 
the Letter of Credence which you bear with you, until you shall 
have received specific directions from this Department, desig- 
nating the Minister of Foreign Affairs to whom it shall be deliv- 
ered. These will be given to you as soon as the Department 
shall have obtained the information necessary to decide the 
question. 

The President considers it expedient, however, that you 



*MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Papal States, I. 11. 



1849] TO MR. EAMES 333 

should proceed immediately to Rome. The present disturbed con- 
dition of the Papal States, and of Italy generally, renders it 
important that the Department should obtain, as speedily as pos- 
sible, all the information which you can procure in regard to their 
actual political condition and future prospects. This you will 
not fail to communicate by every opportunity. 

I would, also, refer you to the concluding paragraph, but 
one, of my instructions to Mr. Martin ; and you will consider this 
as specially addressed to yourself. All the information thereby 
sought, you will procure and communicate as soon as possible. 

I am. Sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. EAMES.^ 



(No. I.) Department of State, 

Washington, i6th February, 1849. 
To Charles Eames, Esquire, 

&c. &c. &c. 
Sir: 

The opportunity which has been afforded you to peruse the 
instructions to your predecessors and their communications to 
this Department has made you acquainted with the history and 
present state of our diplomatic relations with the Hawaiian Gov- 
ernment. Neither Mr. Brown nor Mr. Ten Eyck has been able 
to succeed in negotiating a treaty with that government under 
their instructions. This is a principal object of your mission, and 
all the instructions addressed to either of them upon this subject 
you will consider applicable to yourself. 

You are authorized, as your predecessors were, to conclude 
a Treaty with the Hawaiian Government similar in all respects to 
their Treaties with Great Britain and France. But surely that 
Government would prefer to conclude a Treaty of commerce and 
navigation with the United States similar to our Treaties with 
other civilized and independent Nations, and this the President 
would prefer. 



^MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Hawaii, II. 14. Mr. Eames 
was commissioned as commissioner to Hawaii, Jan. 12, 1849, He met Mr. 
Judd, the Hawaiian plenipotentiary, in San Francisco, and there conchided a 
treaty with him. He resigned Oct. 22, 1849. 



334 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

The commercial treaties between the United States and 
foreign powers are based upon principles recognized by the laws 
of the United States which have from time to time been enacted 
for the purpose of regulating our foreign trade. The only two 
enactments upon this subject now in force are contained in the 
4th Section of the Act of Congress approved the 7th January, 
1824, entitled an " Act concerning discriminating duties of ton- 
nage and impost," Davis' edition Laws U. S. vol. 7, p. 208, Little 
and Brown's edition, vol. 4, p. 2, and the first section of the Act 
approved 24th May, 1828, entitled "An Act in addition to an 
Act entitled ' An act concerning discriminating duties of Tonnage 
and Impost,' and to equalize the duties on Prussian vessels and 
their cargoes," Davis' edition of the laws, vol. 8, p. 124, Little and 
Brown's, vol. 4, p. 308. 

The effect of these enactments is to authorize the President 
to admit the vessels of foreign Countries into the United States 
upon the same terms with our own vessels, either when those 
vessels bring the productions of the Countries to which they 
belong or those of any other foreign country, provided similar 
privileges are extended to vessels of the United States. Con- 
sequently, the coasting trade is the only branch of our commerce 
in which foreigners cannot participate. The President is willing 
to conclude with the Hawaiian government a treaty of reciprocity. 
To entitle a Treaty to this appellation, however, it will be neces- 
sary to take the circumstances of the respective countries into 
consideration. To offer to admit the Hawaiian vessels into our 
ports upon the basis of the act of Congress of 1828 would obvi- 
ously give those sailing or claiming to sail under that flag an 
undue advantage. The vast extent, the great and increasing pop- 
ulation of the United States, with their various wants, would offer 
to Hawaiian vessels inducements for supplying them with the 
productions of other countries, either from Hawaiian ports or 
elsewhere, which the comparatively limited territory and sparse 
population of the Sandwich Islands could not in return offer to 
the vessels of the United States. This basis for a treaty would 
be the more objectionable if the Department is correctly informed 
that the right to use the Hawaiian flag is easily obtained by 
foreigners, and that many engaged in the navigation of the 
Islands are enterprising and not very scrupulous Europeans. 

The President is consequently of opinion that a Treaty with 
the Sandwich Islands based upon the Act of Congress of 1824, 
above referred to, the principles of which were adopted in the 



1849] TO MR. EAMES 335 

two first articles of our Convention with Great Britain of 1815, 
would be the most equitable and expedient. As those parts of 
the Treaty which do not relate to trade are comparatively unim- 
portant, you can introduce any other articles of our recent 
Treaties which you may deem necessary. It would be advisable, 
however, to make the Treaty for a term of years, say eight, to 
end at a year's notice by either party after that time. 

In the 8th volume of the Statutes at large you will find a 
collection of all our Treaties with Foreign nations up to the date 
of that publication. Several of these Treaties are of Direct reci- 
procity, such as you are authorized to conclude with the Hawaiian 
Government. The last of the kind concluded by the United States 
was with the Two Sicilies, with a copy of which, dated on the ist 
December, 1845, you are furnished. You may adopt this as your 
general model. The sixth article of it provides for the succession 
to personal property only. This ought, also, to be extended to 
real estate; because many American citizens hold lands in the 
Islands. If this cannot be accomplished in its full extent, then 
you might agree to the 7th article of our Treaty with Hanover 
of the 20th May, 1840, substituting this for the 6th article of 
the Treaty with Naples. 

Should the Hawaiian Government decline to conclude a 
general Treaty of direct reciprocity with the United States, and 
object to the conclusion of a Treaty similar to those with Great 
Britain and France on account of objections to the third and 
sixth articles of these Treaties, you can answer that whilst the 
United States are unwilling to be placed in a worse condition 
than the most favored nation, yet they will agree to any reason- 
able modification of these articles which may be made in the 
existing Treaties with these Powers. Indeed, should this become 
necessary, you might propose to insert the following article or 
something like it in the Treaty. 

Article 9. Should the Hawaiian Government and the Gov- 
ernments of Great Britain and France, abolish, change, or modify 
the third and sixth articles of their existing Treaties, the cor- 
responding third and sixth articles of the present Treaty shall no 
longer remain in force, provided the United States shall continue 
in all respects to be placed on the footing of the most favored 
nation. 

This would obviate every objection, and still place us in as 
favorable a position as any other nation ; and it cannot be denied 
that these articles are open to serious objections. 

The Hawaiian authorities have uniformly professed a 



336 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

friendly disposition towards the United States. It must be 
acknowledged that this profession is vouched for by too many 
obvious motives of sympathy and interest to allow its sincerity 
to be disbelieved. Still under all the circumstances we shall have 
a right to consider and shall in fact consider the issue of your 
negotiation for a treaty the test of the sincerity of the professions 
of that Government. 

The great impulse which the intercourse between the Islands 
and our territory on the Pacific has recently received, and the 
probability that this intercourse will augment in a rapid ratio, 
makes it important that the commercial relations between the two 
countries should be regulated by a treaty. This is important, not 
to the United States alone. Without a treaty, the productions 
of the Islands introduced into the United States in Hawaiian 
vessels would, according to the nth section of the tariff act of 
1842, be chargeable with an addition of ten per cent, to the 
respective rates of duty imposed on the articles of merchandize 
of which the cargo may consist, by the Tariff act of 1846. The 
exaction of this duty would, it is believed, seriously and injuri- 
ously affect the trade between the United States and the Islands 
in Hawaiian vessels, and even if that government should counter- 
vail it, by the adoption of any regulation which would discourage 
United States vessels from engaging in the same trade, the restric- 
tion would probably so increase the freight on Hawaiian sugar 
and other productions which now find a nearer and ready market 
in California and Oregon, as to give a preference to similar 
articles from the Mexican or Peruvian coast. As the encourage- 
ment of the cultivation of sugar is understood to be a favorite 
object of Hawaiian policy, the willingness of that government to 
avoid a result apparently so well calculated to thwart it cannot be 
doubted. 

You are aware how greatly the Sandwich Islanders are 
indebted to the Christian missionaries resident among them for 
their progress in civilization. The zealous and disinterested labors 
of those missionaries have probably resulted in causing their 
advice and opinions upon other subjects than those relating to 
their calling to be respectfully listened to, and to be perhaps 
decisive with the Hawaiian people and government. 

You will consequently by all honorable means cultivate the 
most friendly relations with the missionaries. 

I am. Sir, very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant 

James Buchanan. 



1849] TO MR. BANCROFT 337 

TO MR. BANCROFT.^ 

(No. 48.) Department of State, 

Washington, 17th Feby., 1849. 
George Bancroft, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

In my despatch to you of the 12th instant, I did not refer 
to the construction which you allege the Fifth Auditor has placed 
upon my circular of the 25th July, 1845, i^ regard to the disburse- 
ment of the contingent fund of our Legations abroad; because 
illness then prevented him from attending his office. I have since 
called upon him for the purpose of directing an immediate settle- 
ment of your accounts ; when I was informed that they had been 
all settled up till the 30th September last, and that the whole 
difference between you and himself amounted to $19.76. I then 
requested him to cause an abstract of the items constituting this 
difference to be furnished to me, which I shall examine without 
delay. 

Whilst this circular itself had become indispensably neces- 
sary, I should certainly except from its operation " printed books 
and maps," purchased by Ministers abroad, having a direct bear- 
ing upon questions pending between this Government and that 
to which they are accredited, or such as they may require for the 
purpose of executing the instructions of this Department. 

Since my conversation with Mr. Pleasonton, your quarterly 
account, ending on the 31st December, has been received. I shall 
see that it is speedily settled; and whatever items in it or your 
former accounts can be allowed under the exception which I 
have stated, shall be passed to your credit. 

Your despatch No. 114, of the 26th ultimo, was received on 
the 15th instant, and was immediately communicated to the Presi- 
dent. In answer, he has instructed me to say, that he is highly 
gratified with the ability displayed by you in the discussion of 
the question of expatriation contained in your note to Lord 
Palmerston of that date; but he still entertains the opinion that 
you should protest specifically against the two orders of the 2d 
and 1 8th August last, issued under the authority of the Irish 
Government, in accordance with my despatch to you of the 12th 
instant, which was carefully prepared under his direction; and 



^ MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Great Britain, XV. 381. 
Vol. VIII— 22 



338 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

this more especially because the first made an offensive and invid- 
ious distinction between " all persons coming from America," 
and those coming from any other foreign country ; and the second 
because it made a distinction equally offensive and invidious 
between our naturalized and native citizens. 
I am, Sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. CRAMPTON.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 17th Feby., 1849. 
John F. Crampton, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of 
the 20th December last, with which you transmit a letter addressed 
to Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs 
by certain ship owners of Liverpool, who are engaged in the 
business of carrying passengers from that port to the United 
States, representing that notwithstanding the care taken by them 
to comply with the regulations in force in the United States as to 
the space to be allotted to each passenger, their ships are frequently 
seized and detained in the ports of this country for being over- 
crowded; and suggesting that the American Consuls in Great 
Britain should be authorized to issue certificates of measurement, 
or some official document of that description, which may enable 
the ship owners to be certain that they have properly complied 
with the regulations above referred to, and that their vessels will 
not be subject to seizure or detention on arriving in the United 
States. 

In inviting the attention of the Department to this subject, 
you add that Her Majesty's Government hope that the United 
States Government may find it practicable to direct the adoption of 
some arrangement such as that suggested in the enclosed letter, 
in order that British ship owners may be enabled accurately to 
conform to the American laws relating to the proper accommoda- 
tion of passengers. 

I have the honor to state in reply, that the legislation now 



' MSS. Department of State, Notes to Great Britain, VII. 197. 



1849] TO MR. CRAMPTON 339 

in force here respecting passenger vessels, so far as it relates 
to the immediate subject in question, is contained in the first 
section of an act of Congress of 22d February, 1847, and the 8th 
section of the act of the 17th of May, 1848. By the former, there 
is allowed for each passenger a space, unoccupied by stores or 
other goods, not being personal luggage, of fourteen clear super- 
ficial feet of deck, if such vessel is not to pass within the tropics 
during the voyage; and if passing within the tropics, twenty clear 
superficial feet of deck for each passenger; and on the orlop deck, 
(if any,) thirty clear superficial feet for each passenger. And 
by the latter, it is provided that when the height or distance 
between the decks of such vessels shall be less than six feet, and 
not less than five feet, there shall be allowed to each passenger 
sixteen clear superficial feet on the deck, instead of fourteen as 
prescribed in said first section of the law of February, 1847; ^^^ 
if the height or distance between the decks shall be less than five 
feet, there shall be allowed to each passenger twenty-two clear 
superficial feet on the deck. 

Founded in motives of humanity, and principally designed 
to guard immigrants against the cupidity of masters, charterers, 
owners, and others engaged in this trade, who overcrowd their 
vessels to the great inconvenience, and not infrequently to the 
imminent peril of the health and even lives of the passengers, the 
expediency of these enactments is not controverted. The partic- 
ular point to which the representations of the Liverpool merchants 
are addressed respects the practical application of these provisions 
in the admeasurement of the vessel's deck, and the adoption of 
some regulation by which the parties interested may be enabled 
accurately to conform to them. Unfortunately, however, — even 
if the laws in this respect are susceptible of improvement, — no 
authority is vested in either of the executive branches of this 
Government to meet the wishes of the memorialists in the way 
they suggest. This could only be effected by the Congress of 
the United States. 

Under these circumstances, and trusting that a practical 
remedy may be attainable, the whole matter will be referred to the 
Secretary of the Treasury, who, if any thing can be done in our 
own ports, will doubtless take every step within his power to 
lessen or remove the difficulty complained of, and to render exist- 
ing legal provisions relating to this subject of easy execution. 

I avail myself of the opportunity to renew to you, Sir, the 
assurance of my high consideration. 

James Buchanan. 



340 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

TO MR. CLIFFORD/ 

(No. 14.) Department of State, 

Washington, 17th February, 1849. 
To Nathan Clifford, Esquire, 

&c. &c. &c. 
Sir: 

I enclose you copies of two extraordinary notes addressed 
by Mr. de la Rosa to myself on the 12th and 14th instant, together 
with a copy of my answer to them dated on the 15th instant. 
These, together with a copy of the Union of the 9th instant con- 
taining the President's Message to the House of Representatives 
on the subject of the '' Protocol," w^hich is also enclosed, will 
enable you to make any explanations to the Mexican Government 
which may become necessary. 

For a few days the most absurd and unfounded rumors were 
circulated in regard to this Protocol, and for a brief period made 
some impression on the public mind. This has, I think, been 
entirely removed by the publication of the President's Message 
and the documents which accompanied it. Still, it would seem 
that Mr. de la Rosa is highly excited on the subject, and may 
therefore make representations to his Government which it will 
be your duty to counteract. Your perfect familiarity with the 
whole subject renders it unnecessary for me to make any further 
observations respecting it. 

I anticipate that Mr. de la Rosa will reply to my note of the 
15th instant. If he should, I shall immediately transmit you a 
copy of his reply with that of my rejoinder, should one become 
necessary. 

I hasten, in the midst of important and pressing avocations, 
to send you this despatch at so early a period as to ensure its 
transmission from New Orleans by the next British Steamer. 

I am. Sir, very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



^ MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Mexico, XVI. 122. 



1849] TO MR. DAVIS 341 

TO MR. DAVIS.^ 

No. 5. Department of State, 

Washington, 17th Feb., 1849. 
John W. Davis, Esq. 

&c. &c. &c. 
Sir: 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your 
despatches to No. 8, inclusive, with the accompanying copies of 
recent correspondence between yourself and the Imperial High 
Commissioner. 

The exemplary punishment which, at the date of your last 
letter, seemed about to overtake the pirates engaged in the murder 
.of the late Reverend Mr. Lowrie, will, it is hoped, when inflicted, 
strike terror into the hearts of a large class of Chinese subjects 
who can only be acted upon by the fear of punishment ; and will 
have a widely beneficial effect in preventing a recurrence of similar 
outrages. 

The course which you have pursued in regard to the case of 
the Reverend Mr. Roberts appears to have been proper; but as 
it would seem that the Chinese Government have finally re- 
fused to pay him any indemnity, the case has reached a point 
when it must be decided whether the claim shall be abandoned 
or enforced; and, if the latter, by what means. Under this new 
aspect of the affair, I do not deem it proper to commit the new 
administration, which will come into power in a little more than a 
fortnight, by any instructions of mine on the subject. 

Your instruction to the Consul of the United States at 
Shanghai, respecting the hoisting of the American flag at his 
Consulate, is approved by the President. Mr. Griswold's right 
to do so appears to me to be incontestable, and it is not easily per- 
ceived how the exercise of it can injuriously affect British inter- 
ests. Under the peculiar circumstances attending the admission 
of Mr. Wolcott into that part of the town set apart for the resi- 
dence of the merchants of Great Britain, — a distinct commu- 
nity, — he was morally bound to observe the regulations made for 
the good order, security, and welfare of the whole society, where 
these were not in conflict with his duties as an American officer. 
If, therefore, the present Consul at Shanghai occupies the prem- 
ises formerly in the possession of Mr. Wolcott, I cannot but hope 



MSS. Department of State, Instructions, China, I. 59. 



342 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

that he will take pleasure in conforming to these regulations, so 
far as he can do so without injuring the interests of American 
citizens or compromitting the honor of his Government. 

There is no authority in law warranting you to grant sea 
letters, or any documents of a like character, to foreign vessels 
purchased by Americans residing in China, designed to be used 
in the coasting trade of that country. You were, therefore, per- 
fectly right in declining to entertain the application to this effect 
of John D. Sword & Co. 

I am. Sir, respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. DONELSON.^ 

(No. 26.) Department of State, 

Washington, 17th February, 1849. 
Andrew J. Donelson, Esqre., 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

Your despatches Nos. 108, 109, no, in, 113, and 116 have 
been received. 

Your Nos. 113 and 116, received on the 15th Instant, were 
submitted to the President in Cabinet Council to-day. After 
mature consideration, he did not deem it proper to depart from 
the ground occupied in my despatch to you. No. 22, of the 6th 
November last. 

Baron Roenne was received and recognised by the President 
as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the 
German Empire alone, on the 26th ultimo. His appointment as 
Minister from Prussia must have been revoked. Baron Gerolt 
certainly left this country under the conviction that Baron Roenne 
had been appointed his successor. Indeed, he often stated this 
fact to me, positively, in conversation. 

Considering that the present administration is within two 
weeks of its termination, — that the German Parliament have not 
yet adopted a Constitution, — and that the establishment of the 
German Empire is still, unfortunately, involved in doubt, the 
President does not yet deem it expedient to transmit you full 



*MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Prussia, XIV. 146. 



1849] TO MR. MURPHY 343 

powers and instructions to conclude a Treaty of Commerce and 
Navigation with that Empire. 

Ardently desiring that the period may speedily arrive when 
such a Treaty may be concluded, 

I remain, yours, very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. JORDAN.^ 

Washington, 20th February, 1849. 
Dear Sir: I have received your favor of the 3rd Instant; 
and should the facts when they shall be ascertained raise the 
question of international law which you have now so clearly pro- 
pounded, the arrest of Mr. McManus will then well deserve the 
serious attention of the Government. 

I thank you for the copy of " the Nation " containing the 
trial of Mr. McManus, which I have perused with deep interest. 
This has been placed upon the files of the Department, with your 
letters. 

Yours Very Respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 
Matthew Jordan, Esquire. 
Albany, New York. 



TO MR. MURPHY.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, Feb: 20th, 1849. 
John Murphy Esqre. 

U. S. Consul, Cork. 
Sir, 

Referring to my Despatch to you of the 25th Ultimo, in 
addition to the enquiries which you were thereby instructed to 
make, I have now to request that you would ascertain and report 
to the Department whether the American Ship " N. D. Chase," 
with Mr. McManus on board, had proceeded beyond British juris- 
diction, and from what port she had cleared and sailed; also 



*MSS. Department of State, 37 Domestic Letters, no. 
'MSS. Department of State, Despatches to Consuls, XII. 420. 



344 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

whether after this she had been compelled by stress of weather 
or any other cause to return within British Waters previous to 
the Arrest. You will be careful to ascertain the day on which 
Mr. McManus went on board, and the circumstances attending 
it; when the Vessel sailed, how far she had proceeded on her 
voyage, when and for what cause she returned, and the day when 
and the place where he was arrested. As this information may 
involve important consequences, you will be careful to obtain it 
with as much accuracy as possible ; and report to the Department 
with all practicable despatch. 

I am, Sir, &c. 

James Buchanan. 



TO THE PRESIDENT.^ 

Department of State, 

20th February, 1849. 
The Secretary of State, to whom has been referred a resolu- 
tion of the Senate of the 23d ultimo, requesting the President '' to 
transmit to the Senate, so far as is consistent with the public 
service, any correspondence between the Department of State 
and the Spanish authorities in the island of Cuba, relating to the 
imprisonment in said island of William Henry Bush, a citizen of 
the United States," has the honor to report that there has been 
no such correspondence as that referred to '' between the Depart- 
ment of State and the Spanish authorities in the island of Cuba." 
He submits, however, all the correspondence between the consul 
of the United States and the captain general of Cuba on that 
subject, together with the instructions of this department to the 
said consul, and a note addressed to it by the Spanish minister, 
as coming within the spirit of the resolution. 

James Buchanan. 



^ This report was sent by the President to the Senate, Feb. 23, 1849, and 
was printed in S. Ex. Doc. 33, 30 Cong. 2 Sess. i. 



1849] TO M. POUSSIN 345 

TO MR. CRAMPTON/ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 22d Feby., 1849. 
John F. Crampton, Esqre., 

&c.. &c., &c. 
Sir: 

I have to acknowledge the receipt of the note which you did 
me the honor to address to me on the 23d March last, in behalf of 
certain inhabitants of Canada, relative to the placing of impedi- 
ments in a position to interrupt the navigation of the w^aters con- 
necting Missisquoi Bay with the river Richelieu; and, at the 
same time, to transmit to you a copy of the letters w^ritten by me 
to the Governors of New York and Vermont, respectively, on 
the subject; replies to which have not yet reached the Department. 

I avail m3^self of the opportunity to renew to you. Sir, the 
assurance of mv hio-h consideration. 



fe^ 



James Buchanan. 



TO M. POUSSIN.^ 

Department of State, 

Washington, 23d Feby., 1849. 
Mr. William Tell Poussin, 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

In answer to your several notes on the subject, I have the 
honor to inform you that I have sent for Philip B. Key, Esquire, 
the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, ex- 
plained to him the nature of Mr. Marie's case, and requested him 
to afford that gentleman his professional advice and assistance 
against Mr. Favier. Mr. Key has promptly consented to comply 
with my request, and will be prepared to institute the necessary 
legal proceedings whenever Mr. Marie may call upon him for 
this purpose. Under our laws these proceedings cannot be 
commenced without the personal agency of Mr. Marie, and, if a 
criminal prosecution should be deemed proper, without his oath. 
I have the honor to be, with high consideration, 
Your obedient servant, 

James Buchanan. 



MSS. Department of State, Notes to Great Britain, VII. 201. 
MSS. Department of State, Notes to French Legation, VI. 127. 



346 



THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN 



[1849 



TO THE PRESIDENT/ 

Department of State, 
Washington, 26th February, 1849. 
The Secretary of State, to whom has been referred the Sen- 
ate's Resokition of the 3rd Uhimo, has the honor to report to 
the President the accompanying '* hst of aU the treaties of Com- 
merce and Navigation, between the United States and Foreign 
Nations, conferring upon the vessels of such nations the right 
of trading between the United States and the rest of the world, 
in the productions of every country, upon the same terms with 
American vessels; with the date of the proclamation of such 
treaties. Also, a list of the proclamations, conferring similar 
rights upon the vessels of foreign nations, issued by the Presi- 
dent of the United States under the provisions of the ist Section 
of the Act entitled, ' An Act in addition to an Act entitled, " an 
act concerning discriminating duties on tonnage and impost, and 
to equalize the duties on Prussian vessels and their cargoes," ' 
approved May 24, 1848." 

Respectfully submitted. 

James Buchanan. 
To THE President of the United States. 

List of Treaties, &c. 



Name of country. 

Denmark. 

Sweden. 

Hanse Towns. 

Prussia. 

Austria. 

Russia. 

Venezuela. 

Greece. 

Sardinia. 

Ecuador. 

Hanover. 

Hanover. 

New Granada. 

Oldenburg. 

Mecklenburg-Schwerin. 



Date of Treaty. 

April 26, 1826. 
July 4, 1827. 
December 20, 1827. 
May I, 1828. 
August 27, 1829. 
December 6 and 18, 1832, 
January 20, 1836. 
December 10 & 22, 1837. 
November 26, 1838. 
June 13, 1839. 
May 20, 1840. 
May 10, 1846. 
December 12, 1846. 
March 10, 1847. 
December 9, 1847. 



Date of Proclamation. 

October 14, 1826. 
January 19, 1828. 
June 2, 1828. 
March 14, 1829. 
February 10, 1831. 
May II, 1833. 
June 20, 1836. 
August 30, 1838. 
March 18, 1839. 
September 23, 1842. 
January 2, 1841. 
April 24, 1847. 
June 12, 1848. 
April 24, 1847. 
August 2, 1848. 



*MSS. Department of State, Report Book, VI. 278. This report was 
sent by the President to the Senate, Feb. 27, 1849, and was printed in S. Ex. 
Doc. 35, 30 Cong. 2 Sess. i. 



1849] TO MR. LOUGHEAD 347 

List of Proclamations, &c. 

Date. Country. 

Proclamation. June 3, 1829. Austria. 

do. September 18, 1830. Oldenburg. 

do. November 4, 1847. Brazil. 



TO MR. CARVALLO.^ 

Department of State, 
Washington, 27th February, 1849. 
To Senor Don Manuel Carvallo, &c. &c. &c. 

The Undersigned, Secretary of State of the United States, 
has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the note of Mr. 
Carvallo, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of 
the Republic of Chile, of the 19th ult., giving notice, pursuant to 
the 31st article of the treaty of Navigation and Commerce con- 
cluded at Santiago on the i6th of May, 1832, that his Govern- 
ment desires to terminate that treaty, and that, in conformity 
with the article referred to, the notice will take effect on the 
20th of January, next. 

The intimation w^hich Mr. Carvallo also expresses that the 
Chilean Government is disposed to renew the Treaty with some 
modifications, shall be submitted to the consideration of the 
President. 

The Undersigned avails himself of this occasion to offer 
to Mr. Carvallo renewed assurances of his very distinguished 
consideration. 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. LOUGHEAD.^ 

Department of State, 
Washington, February 27, 1849. 
R. A. LouGHEAD, Esq. 

No. 29 South Fourth Street, 
Philadelphia, Penna. 
Sir: In reply to your letter of the 25th Instant on the 
subject of passports for the transit through Mexico of the 



^MSS. Department of State, Notes to Chilean Legation, VL 10. 
'MSS. Department of State, 37 Domestic Letters, 114. 



348 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

" Mutual California Company of Philadelphia," you are informed 
that it would be better for each member of the company to have 
a passport, that their nationality might be known in case of need. 
The enclosed circular relative to the issuing of them is sent for 
your information. It is understood that persons travelling 
through Mexico have permission to carry arms for self-defence, 
provided the Companies do not assume a Military organization. 
I regret that it is not in my power to furnish you the works 
you request, but have no doubt if you were to apply to some 
one of your representatives in Congress, that your wishes in this 
particular would be gratified. 

I am. Sir, respectfully &c. 

James Buchanan. 



TO M. POUSSIN/ 



Department of State, 

Washington, 28th Feby., 1849. 
Mr. William Tell Poussin, 

&c., &c., &c. 
Sir: 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note 
of the 14th December last, communicating the substance of two 
claims which you prefer against this Government on the part of 
M. Anselme Curnillon, a Frenchman residing in the neighbor- 
hood of Vera Cruz, whose establishments near that place, it is 
alleged, were pillaged and laid waste by the American volunteers, 
in 1847. 

These claims were immediately submitted to the Secretary 
of War, who has made a report upon them to this Department, 
accompanied with documents, copies of which I now have the 
honor of transmitting to you. 

I avail myself of the opportunity to renew to you. Sir, the 
assurance of my high consideration. 

James Buchanan. 



^ MSS. Department of State, Notes to French Legation, VI. 128. 



1849] TO MR. GAINES 349 

TO THE PRESIDENT/ 

Departmp:nt of State 

Washington, ist March 1849. 
The Secretary of State, to whom was referred the Resoki- 
tion of the House of Representatives of the 23rd of December, 
last, which is in the following words, " Resolved, That the 
President of the United States cause to be transmitted to this 
House, if compatible with the public interest, the correspondence 
of George W. Gordon, late, and Gorham Parks, the present 
Consul of the United States at Rio de Janeiro, with the Depart- 
ment of State on the subject of the African Slave Trade, also 
any unpublished correspondence on the same subject by the Hon : 
Henry A. Wise, our late Minister to Brazil," has the honor to 
lay before the President the papers mentioned in the subjoined 
list, which embrace all those on file in this Department called 
for by the Resolution. 

Respectfully submitted. 

James Buchanan. 
To THE President of the United States. 



TO MR. GAINES/ 



(No. I.) Department of State 

Washington, ist March, 1849. 
Marcus Junius Gaines, Esquire. 

Appointed United States Consul for Tripoli. 



The bankers will be requested, moreover, to pay your drafts 
for the contingent expenses of the Consulate, not to exceed the 
sum of eight hundred dollars, per annum, to be in part expended 
in occasional presents and gratuities to the officers of the Re- 
gency according to the established usage of the place. 

It was formerly customary to furnish Consuls of the 
United States appointed to the Barbary Powers with a large 



'MSS. Department of State, Report Book, VI. 279; H. Ex. Doc. 61, 
30 Cong. 2 Sess. 2. This report was transmitted by President Polk to the 
Senate, March 2, 1849. 

^MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Barbary Powers, XIV. 92. 



350 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

sum of money for the purpose of procuring presents for the 
Bey and for various officers of his Government. This custom 
has been discontinued in reference to the other Barbary Powers, 
and must be dispensed with, in regard to TripoH. Upon proper 
explanations by you, should it become necessary, no just offence 
can be taken by the Tripolitan Government, and accordingly no 
such allowances will in future be made, the Department being 
disposed, so far as the United States have commercial relations 
with those Powers, to carry on that intercourse as nearly as 
may be according to the manner adopted in our intercourse 
with European States. 

James Buchanan. 



TO MR. CLIFFORD.^ 

(No. 15.) Department of State, 

Washington, 2nd March, 1849. 
To Nathan Clifford, Esquire, 

&c. &c. &c. 
Sir: 

I enclose to you copies of two notes, the one of the 23d 
and the other of the 24th ultimo, received at the Department 
from Mr. de la Rosa, since the date of my last despatch. 

It is difficult to conceive what can be the object of Mr. de la 
Rosa in pursuing so pertinaciously the question of the Protocol. 
He nowhere states or even intimates in what particular the 
explanations contained in it are, in his opinion, at variance with 
the amendments of the Senate to the original Treaty. Indeed, 
he expressly declares that he " will not enter into the discussion 
of the question whether the explanation thus recorded in this 
document and the understanding therein given to certain articles 
of the Treaty are, or are not, at variance with the intention and 
design of the Senate of the United States which modified those 
articles." 

The President, in his message to the House of Representa- 
tives of the 8th February, last, expresses the opinion that these 
explanations are in accordance with the Treaty, and gives his 
reasons for this opinion. H this be correct, as we believe it to 



MSS. Department of State, Instructions, Mexico, XVI. 123. 



1849] TO MR. CLIFFORD 351 

be, then no practical question can ever arise between Mexico and 
the United States on the subject of the Protocol. Why, then, 
the pertinacity of Mr. de la Rosa? Does he not believe that he 
has gained some advantage over Mr. Sevier and yourself by the 
Protocol, but this of a character which he is unwilling to specify? 

The first rumors circulated in this City concerning the 
Protocol were that it had annulled the amendment of the Senate 
striking from the Treaty the loth Article, and restored to gran- 
tees of land in Texas all the rights which they would have 
enjoyed under this article. These rumors were speedily dissi- 
pated by the publication of the President's Message and the 
accompanying documents. Still, it may be possible that the 
Mexican Government, urged thereto by Mr. de la Rosa, will 
insist upon this outrageous construction of the Protocol. At all 
events, that Government should now be clearly and distinctly 
reminded of the character of this instrument under the Consti- 
tution of the United States, although upon this subject it is 
morally impossible they could have been mistaken. The notes 
of Mr. de la Rosa to myself have rendered this necessary. As 
you were one of the chief actors on the occasion, and are conse- 
quently well acquainted with all the particulars, the President has 
deemed it proper to entrust you with the performance of this 
duty. Besides, this can be done more advantageously in Mexico 
than Washington, because it is almost certain from the circum- 
stances that Mr. de la Rosa has been acting without express 
instructions, and I fear under unhappy influences, to which he is 
peculiarly exposed from his entire ignorance of the English 
language. Had he sought an interview with me upon the subject 
in the first instance, instead of adopting the course which he 
has pursued, it is probable I might have convinced him, that 
although the Protocol is of no validity considered as a new 
agreement between the parties, yet that the exposition of the 
three points which it embraces is a fair and legitimate construc- 
tion of the Treaty and ought to be entirely satisfactory to his 
Government. 

Mr. de la Rosa, in his note of the 24th ultimo, asserts that 
*' this Protocol is a real Diplomatic Convention concluded be- 
tween the Government of Mexico and that of the United States, 
and equally binding on both." And again : '' In whatsoever 
light the Protocol may be considered, the Undersigned firmly 
believes that the Government of the United States cannot do less 
than recognise in it a Diplomatic Convention, as obligatory as the 



352 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

Treaty of Peace signed at Guadalupe." Now although the ex- 
planations contained in the Protocol present, in my opinion, the 
true exposition of the Treaty, yet if this were otherwise and they 
should contain any new stipulation, any change or modification 
whatever of any article in the Treaty, not in conformity with 
its letter and spirit, to this extent they are an absolute nullity. 
Under forms of Government where the Sovereign or Chief 
Magistrate possesses exclusively the Treaty making power, he 
may by a Protocol or any other instrument agree with the other 
party to modify or change a Treaty in any manner he may think 
proper after it has received his ratification. But under such 
Governments as those of Mexico and the United States, where 
the approval of the Congress under the Constitution of the 
former and the advice and consent of the Senate under that of 
the latter are necessary to give validity to Treaties, no change 
can be made in any Treaty between such parties which has not 
previously received the constitutional sanction of those respective 
bodies. If this were not the case, diplomatic agents, on whom 
it would be impossible to confer any such legitimate authority, 
might, by means of a Protocol, usurp the powers of the American 
Senate and bind the Government of the United States in express 
violation of the Constitution. No case could be presented more 
striking than the present to illustrate the absurdity of such a 
pretension. Here is a Treaty which had been ratified by the 
President of the United States by and with the advice and 
consent of the Senate, and had been approved by the Mexican 
Congress; and yet the monstrous proposition is advanced, that 
the diplomatic agents of the two Governments, by an agreement 
in the form of a Protocol, possess the power to change, modify, 
and annul the articles of this Treaty at pleasure. Had the 
Mexican Government attached any serious importance to the 
Protocol, their course was plain. The Congress of Mexico ought 
to have approved and the President ratified the Treaty with 
amendments. It would then have been returned to the Presi- 
dent of the United States, who might, in his discretion, have 
submitted it to the Senate for their advice and consent, and if this 
had been given, he would again have ratified it in its amended 
form. But without any resort to these constitutional sources of 
power, it is now contended by Mr. de la Rosa that this mere 
Protocol between the diplomatic agents of the two governments, 
which has never received the sanction of the Senate of the one 
or the Congress of the other, — which has never been and could 



1849] TO MR. CLIFFORD 353 

not be published by either Government as a part of the Treaty, 
is '' a Diplomatic Convention as obligatory as the Treaty of peace 
signed at Guadalupe." 

It is impossible that "the Mexican Government could have 
been ignorant of the provisions of the Constitution of the United 
States in regard to the Treaty making power. They had at 
different periods concluded Treaties with this Government. The 
very fonii of our ratification of the Treaty in question, as well 
as of all these former Treaties, must have taught them that the 
President, without the advice and consent of the Senate, could 
enter into no valid Treaty stipulation whatever with a foreign 
Government. Much less were mere diplomatic agents, however 
exalted in rank, competent to exert this high power of binding 
the Government and people of the United States and declaring 
what should be the supreme law of the land. That the Mexican 
Government knew all this, is demonstrated by my letter of the 
1 8th March, 1848, to the Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs. 
From this I extract the following quotation : " Your Excellency 
is doubtless aware that, under the Constitution of the United 
vStates, ' the advice and consent of the Senate ' is necessary to 
the validity of all Treaties, and that this must be given by a 
majority of two thirds of the Senators present. Every Treaty 
must receive the sanction of this august Executive Council, in 
the manner prescribed by the Constitution, before it can be 
binding on the United States." 

And yet if rumor be correct, Mr. de la Rosa, in the face of 
all this knowledge, will contend that the tenth article of the 
Treaty, which he was informed in the letter just referred to had 
proved so obnoxious to the Government of the United States that 
the portion of it in regard to lands in Texas did not receive a 
single vote in the Senate, has been revived in this very particular 
by the paper called a Protocol, and is now to be held as sacred 
as if it had received every vote of the Senate. It is to be hoped 
that the Mexican Government will not adopt any such absurdity 
upon the suggestion of their Minister. 

When the Senate of the United States deem it proper to 
make amendments to a Treaty, it often becomes an indispensable 
though a delicate duty for the Secretary of State, under the 
direction of the President, to afford to the Government of the 
other party explanations of these amendments. In preparing 
the letter of explanation to the Mexican Minister for Foreign 
Affairs, I used the utmost caution and care and resorted to the 

Vol. VIII— 23 



354 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

best sources of information. I am not aware that any portion 
of this letter has ever been criticised, much less condemned. The 
President considers that the explanations in the Protocol are in 
conformity both with the Treaty and this letter. In communi- 
cating with the Minister for Foreign Affairs upon the subject, 
I trust, therefore, that you may be able to convince him that the 
Protocol contains a correct exposition of the Treaty, and that 
the Treaty thus explained secures to Mexico all her legitimate 
rights, in the same manner and to the same extent as though 
the Protocol had been made a part of the Treaty, under the 
authority of the Mexican Congress and the Senate of the United 
States. 

It would be lamentable indeed should this question, which 
does not appear to be of the least practical importance, produce 
unkind feelings between the two Republics at a moment when 
the future relations between them promise to be of the most 
auspicious character. 

Your despatches to No. 38, inclusive, have been received. 

I am, Sir, very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

Tames Buchanan. 



TO THE PRESIDENT/ 

Department of State 



Washington, 2d March 1849. 
To the President of the United States. 

The Secretary of State, to whom was referred a Resolu- 
tion of the House of Representatives of the 20th Instant, re- 
questing the President to communicate to that House, a list of 
all Consuls, Vice Consuls, and Commercial Agents now, in the 
service of the United States, their residence, distinguishing such 
as are citizens of the United States from such as are not, and 
to inform the said House whether regular returns of their fees 
and perquisites and the tonnage and commerce of the United 
States within their respective consulates or agencies have been 
regularly made by each, and to communicate the amount of such 
fees and perquisites for certain years therein specified, together 



'MSS. Department of State, Report Book, VI. 256; H. Ex. Doc. 60, 
30 Cong. 2 Sess. 2. This report was transmitted on the same day by Presi- 
dent Polk to the House. 



1849] TO MR. PARKER 355 

with the number of vessels and amount of tonnage which entered 
and cleared within each of the Consulates and Agencies for the 
same period, also the number of seamen of the United States 
who have been provided for and sent home from each of the 
said Consulates for the time aforesaid, has the honor to submit 
the enclosed statements, which comprise all the information 
which could, under the said resolution, be prepared at this 
Department in time to transmit during the present session of 
Congress. 

Respectfully submitted, 

James Buchanan. 

List of Statements Enclosed. 

No. I. Statement showing the names of the Consuls and Commercial 
Agents of the United States — their places of residence — of what country a 
citizen, and the amount of fees received by each in 1846 and 1847, as far as 
is shown by the Returns received at the Department of State. 

No. 2, Statement showing the number of destitute American Seamen who 
have been provided for by U. S. Consuls and Commercial Agents in Foreign 
ports ; the number sent home whose passages have been paid by the Consuls, 
and the Commissions allowed on their disbursements for the relief of said 
seamen, during the fiscal years ending 30th June, 1846^ & 1847. 

No. 3. Statement showing the number of destitute American Seamen 
brought to the United States from the different Consulates and their depend- 
encies, whose passages were paid at the Treasury, during the two fiscal years 
commencing ist July, 1845, and ending 30th June, 1847. 



TO MR. PARKER ET AL.^ 

Washington, 12 March 1849. 
Gentlemen/ 

I have received your very kind invitation to a public dinner 
proposed to be given to me by my political friends in this City, 
on the occasion of my retirement from the Department of State. 
The high estimate placed by you upon my public & private char- 
acter, with which you have been long & intimately acquainted, 
will be ever remembered with sentiments of profound gratitude. 
The value of this testimonial is enhanced by the fact that it 



^ Although the Report Book in the Department of State reads " 30th 
Jan'y 1846," the tabulated statement following shows that the date should 
read "30th June, 1846." 

^ Buchanan Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 



356 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

proceeds from Democrats in a private station whose worth & 
intelligence are known to the whole community. 

Whilst you do more than justice to the ability, — I feel 
proudly conscious that you have not overrated the fidelity — 
with which I have discharged my duties to the Country, in 
Congress & in the .State Department. A Democrat from deep 
conviction, the best years of my life have been devoted to the 
defence & promotion of the great principles of the Democratic 
party. Their ascendancy in the Legislative & Executive branches 
of the Government has secured to us liberty, order, & unex- 
ampled prosperity at home, and has elevated us to a high & 
enviable rank among the most powerful nations of the earth. 
Any serious departure from the line of public policy which has 
been pursued by successive Democratic administrations, will, I 
firmly believe, result in disastrous consequences to the people, 
and excite dangerous jealousies & divisions among the States 
of the Union ; whilst, should this policy continue to be our guide, 
we shall soon surpass every other nation in w.ealth, power, & 
prosperity. The day will not then be distant when to be an 
American Citizen will constitute as proud a title & command as 
much respect throughout the w^orld as ever did the name of a 
Roman Citizen. Whilst these are my deliberate sentiments, 
they are not entertained in a proscriptive or unfriendly spirit 
towards our political opponents, and especially those of this City. 
Far, very far from it. Having been intimately acquainted with 
the citizens of Washington of all political parties for a quarter 
of a century, I can truly say, that in my opinion, a more 
intelligent, moral, hospitable, & patriotic society does not exist 
in any Country. I shall part from them with deep regret, and 
next to the State which gave me birth, there is no place in 
Christendom where I should more willingly pass the remainder 
of my days. 

You refer kindly to the course which I have pursued in the 
Senate when measures touching the interests of the City of 
Washington have been the subjects of Legislation. Whenever 
I could support such measures without violating my obligations 
to my own Constituents, this has been done, with hearty good 
will. It is the duty & ought to be the pleasure of Congress, by 
all Constitutional & proper means, to build up the permanent 
capital of this great nation, which has been honored by the 
name of the father of his Cotmtry. 

Entertaining such sentiments, it would afford me cordial 



1849] TO MR. CLAYTON 357 

pleasure to accept your invitation & mingle with you around 
the festive board : and I have, therefore, to regret that the time 
which I must devote to the necessary arrangements incident to 
my speedy removal from Washington renders this impracticable. 
From your friend & fellow citizen 

James Buchanan. 
George Parker, B. B. French, John W. Maury, J. D. 
Hoover, Jesse E. Dow, G. W. Phillips, John Boyle, 
& B. B. Edmonston, Esquires, & others. 



TO MR. CLAYTON.^ 

Lancaster 9 April 1849. 
Dear Sir, 

Yours of the 6th Instant has been received. I have never 
felt the least inclination to follow your owai precedent and tell 
you to go to the D — 1. Although you have played me a shabby 
trick, yet I sincerely desire that you should serve your Country 
with honor to yourself in the Department of State, and lead a 
long and prosperous life in this world before the old gentleman 
shall obtain his due. 

Had you not been harassed by far more important and 
pressing engagements, you would, doubtless, before you had 
deprived Mr. Weaver of Mr. Glossbrenner's salary to which I 
had appointed him, have informed me of the reasons why you 
intended to make the change. Had this been done, I could have 
assured you that you were mistaken in the facts; and, in any 
event, all would have passed off smoothly. 

It is impossible, with any regard to the public service, that 
promotions can be made unifonnly in the Department of State 
according to seniority. Indeed I know not how I could have 
got along at all without the aid of Mr. Hunter first and after- 
w^ards Mr. Glossbrenner ; and had I remained in the Department, 
I should have selected in Mr. Glossbrenner's place the ablest 
writer and the best Scholar, especially with reference to a knowl- 
edge of foreign languages, I could have found in the Country 
for a salary of $1400. 

From Mr. Derrick's letter I had feared that mv note to Mr. 



^ Clayton MSS., Library of Congress. 



358 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

Chew contained some incautious expression unintentionally com- 
mitting myself to make promotions according to Seniority. I 
have since obtained a copy of that note and am glad to find it 
will bear no such construction. 

It w^as my pride and my pleasure to treat all the clerks not 
only with justice but kindness. The three who could alone be 
affected by the appointment of Mr. Weaver were Mr. Reddall, 
the younger Mr. Derrick, and Mr. Zantzinger ; all excellent clerks 
in their permanent places. I had shewn my kindness to Mr. 
Reddall and Mr. Zantzinger by urging actively and successfully 
the passage of an appropriation for them of between 7 & 8 
hundred dollars for extra services; and had greatly increased 
my own labors by temporarily assigning the younger Mr. Derrick 
to his brother's place at the head of the most important Diplo- 
matic Bureau. The term " overslaughing " which you employ 
can only apply to those who have a right to promotion, as in the 
army or navy, according to Seniority, — a right which none of 
your predecessors have found it possible to recognize in practice. 

Had General Cass been elected, though I should not have 
remained in the Department, it was my purpose to provide places 
at higher salaries, in the other Departments, for Messrs. Derrick 
and Zantzinger, where they could have been eminently useful. 
This justice would have required ; and the salary of Mr. Reddall 
ought to have been increased by Congress. 

I shall not use the naughty word " untrue," which you have 
employed in the conclusion of your letter, because I do not suffer 
myself to get into a passion; but until I perused it, who could 
blame me for applying the rule both of law and ethics that every 
person is presumed to intend the fair consequences of his own 
actions. 

The subject is disagreeable and I shall say no more upon it. 
Mr. Weaver will probably remain some time with your permis- 
sion at $1000; because by returning home, at the present moment, 
both he and I would be placed in an awkward and almost 
ridiculous position. I trust, however, that he may not long 
prove a source of embarrassment to you; and I unaffectedly 
regret that I brought him from Meadville to Washington, and 
this in a great degree because it has occasioned a misunder- 
standing between us. 

With sentiments of the highest respect, I remain 
Yours sincerely 

James Buchanan. 
Hon. John M. Clayton. 



1849] FROM MR. CLAYTON 359 

P. S. In justice to Mr. Weaver, I ought to observe that 
my letters have been written without any instigation on his part. 
On the contrary, he has always spoken of you kindly and 
respectfully, and I have no doubt he will do his best to serve 
you in whatever position you may place him. 



FROM MR. CLAYTON.^ 

Washington, April 14, 1849. 
Dear Sir, 

Late at night after a hard day's work, I sit down to pay my respects to 
you. I am in a good humour with myself and you and all the world. So do 
not expect your deserts. 

The first part of your last letter, which informs me that the Devil will 
get his due when my life of care and labour is ended, is capital, I shall 
then be summoned to give evidence against you, and what a tale I shall be 
compelled to tell on you! The Mexican protocol — the Brazilian quarrel^ 
the Spanish mission and projected purchase (a blunder worse than a crime) 
— the violation of our neutrality law of 1818 and of the treaty with Denmark 
by building a ship for the German confederation or rather fitting her out to 
force the blockade of the Weser, all done by orders from Washington and 
under the direction of an American commodore, with other enormities too 
tedious to mention, and last (not least) your getting in a passion with an 
old friend about a clerk — these will all rise up in judgment against you and 
I shall be compelled 

" Even to the teeth and forehead of your faults 
To give in evidence." 

If I go to the devil, it will be because I am here daily engaged in cover- 
ing up and defending all your outrageous acts. I have already gone so far 
in this, that I now feel that I am " little better than one of the wicked." 

As to the protocol — Rosa & I are in a quarrel about that, I have replied 
to his two last notes to you and told him we will never acknowledge that 
his protocol is of any value. If I have not proved it to be moonshine, I have 
made a great failure. 

Baron Von Roenne's ship may go out on his assuring me she will not 
violate our neutrality. And (hark in your ear,) if he does not give me that 
assurance, the law may take its course without my interfering to save his 
ship. Do you not seriously feel ashamed of your part in that business? 
Make a clean breast to me, and I will make the best of your case when 
called upon to prove old Nick's title to you. 

The Brazilian Macedo laboured hard to revive your naughty discussion 
about Lieut, Davis and the drunken seamen in Rio, I refused to revive it, 
assumed that you were altogether right (God assoilzie me for that!) and 
dismissed him with compliments ! 



^ Buchanan Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 



360 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

What will you give me to recall Romulus Saunders from Spain? Speak 
out — do not be bashful. Shall I try to buy Cuba after you have made such a 
botch of that business? Do you still wish like Sancho to have an island? 
What ought to be done with Mr, Reynolds ? 

As to young Weaver, he minds his business and will be contented & 
happy, provided his great uncle will let him alone. I have turned out Lund 
Washington, who figured with other politicians at Jackson Hall, put Hill in 
his place, and procured an able lawyer to be Librarian & Commission Clerk 
who can assist me in hunting up law to cover your manifold delinquencies. 

When you come to Washington (which I hope may soon happen) do 
not bear malice, but come to my House and stay with me. I am in your 
shoes now fully, and you can do yourself great credit by showing me how 
to wear them gracefully. 

Kindly & Sincerely yours 

John M. Clayton. 



TO MR. CLAYTON/ 

Lancaster 17 April 1849. 
Dear Sir/ 

Your letter of the 14th has afforded me sincere pleasure; 
although I deny your right to select the tribunal before which 
I shall be tried. What chance, Christian man as I am, could 
I expect, you being the witness & accuser, before a Judge con- 
cerning whom it has passed into a proverb that he is always 
partial to his own ? In vain might I allege in my defence that 
the protocol was necessary for the glorification of my successor, 
as without it he would have had no adequate opportunity to 
display his patriotism to the world & exhibit his ability & skill 
in a diplomatic encounter with the illustrious & far famed Don 
Luis de la Rosa; — that the Brazilian quarrel which gave fair 
promise at one time of producing a tempest in a Teapot was 
virtually settled by your predecessor in the only effectual manner 
by assuming a just & lofty attitude in support of the lamb-like 
Wise; — and that the late glorious Loco Foco administration had 
played into your hand by committing itself in favor of acquiring 
" the gem of the ocean " for which you are now longing. It 
must be admitted that a more skilful agent might have been 
selected to conduct the negotiation in Spain, as our present 
minister speaks no language except English, & even this he 
sometimes murders ; but you ought not to complain, because the 
contrast will be so striking between him & the world renowned 



^ Buchanan Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 



1849] TO MR. CLAYTON 361 

Col : L W. W. that this alone would be sufficient to immortalise 
the administration of " old Zach." 

We must have Cuba. We can't do without Cuba, & above 
all we must not suffer its transfer to Great Britain. We shall 
acquire it by a coup d'etat at some propitious moment, which 
from the present state of Europe may not be far distant. How 
delighted then am I to feel that you have selected a diplomatist 
& fit for the work, — one who, possessing no vanity himself & 
knowing when to speak & when to be silent, is so well calculated 
to flatter the pride of the Dons, — who by the gentle arts of 
insinuation & persuasion can gradually prepare the queen mother, 
the ministers & courtiers for the great surrender, — & who above 
all is a perfect master both of the language of Louis le Grand & 
of the knight of the rueful countenance. Cuba is already ours. 
I feel it in my finger ends. 

The glory of fitting out a vessel of war for the German 
empire belongs to the Navy Department; and I am glad to 
perceive that no partiality for the patronising Whig Bodisco nor 
dread of his Lnperial master will cause you to arrest our im- 
portant commerce in ships, since you have determined that the 
word of Baron Roenne shall prevent the execution of our 
neutrality laws. Great Britain, I perceive, is, also, furnishing 
steamers for the use of the German navy. Prussia will probably 
reap the benefit of the concern. 

If I were to consult my personal predilection, although you 
are but little better than one of the wicked, 1 should rather stay 
at your house, when I visit Washington, than any where else. 
But this I cannot do for two reasons: i. Your Whiggery might 
be suspected should I become your guest, & 2. I have not yet 
learned, though I am learning, " to look upon blood & carnage 
with composure." Alas poor Washington ! 

From your friend very respectfully 

James Buchanan. 
Hon : John M. Clayton. 

P. S. I may have occasion to visit Washington for a day 
or two in June: & if so, shall most certainly do myself the 
pleasure of spending an hour with you should your engagements 
permit. 



/ 



362 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

TO MR. TOUCEY/ 

Wheatland, near Lancaster, i June 1849. 
My dear Sir/ 

It is now nearly three months since we separated at Wash- 
ington, & yet we have had no more intercourse with each other 
than though we were strangers. Indeed I have not had a hne 
from any member of the late Cabinet except Governor Marcy. 
As it is my sincere desire to keep the chain of friendship bright 
between us, I have determined to break the ice & open a cor- 
respondence with you. 

I am now residing at this place, which is an agreeable 
country residence about a mile & an half from Lancaster. If 
you should at any time visit Washington, I hope you may not 
fail to come this way. There is a better rail road from Phila- 
delphia to Baltimore, via Lancaster, than by the direct route: 
& you would pass through a beautiful country. I should be 
delighted with a visit from Mrs. Toucey & yourself. 

I can say in all sincerity that I am contented & even happy 
in my retirement. Since I left Washington, I have led a more 
idle & worthless life than at any former period. It is true I 
have read a great deal; but this only for amusement. I intend 
now. to turn over a new leaf. 

For the character of the Country, I regret that the adminis- 
tration of General Taylor has been so proscriptive. Pledges 
solemnly made by a candidate for the highest office under 
the sun ought to be sacredly redeemed. If these can be 
violated with impunity, then all faith in public men is at an end : 
& a struggle for the Presidency must become a game of false 
promises. What will then become of public virtue? It is true, 
these pledges ought never to have been made, & there would 
have been great difficulty in resisting the assaults of hungry office 
hunters: but the old General ought to have weighed well the 
consequences before he committed his honor. 

On yesterday I received a letter from an intelligent & 
zvell informed friend in the City of Mexico under date of the 
14th ultimo. He says that Mr. Clifford " is most deservedly 
popular with his Countrymen & influential & popular with the 
Mexican Government & people." He informs me that the 
protocol is perfectly understood in Mexico just according to our 



^ Buchanan Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 



1849] TO MR. HOOVER 363 

interpretation of it '& he " knows that Mr. Rosa has acted in 
whatever he has done without instructions from his Government 
on this subject." He proceeds — " So far as I can judge from ^ 
reports from the U. S., he has been made a cat'vS-paw to gratify 
the vindictive feehngs of one who it pains me to see has not 
hesitated to strike over the heads of some who had claims on him 
for better things, & even to disregard the ashes of a long & 
intimate political friend, to reach the President who I presume 
to have been the object of attack.'' 

I cordially congratulate you upon the recent success of the 
Democratic party in Connecticut. I think we shall elect our 
Canal Commissioner in October next, & entertain no doubt of 
our success, should an unobjectionable candidate be nominated at 
Pittsburg. The Democratic party are still in the majority in 
this State; but in order to bring out our strength we must 
consult their wishes in the selection of candidates. The time has 
passed when a nomination is equivalent to an election even for 
State offices, not to speak of U. S. offices. 

. Please to remember me most kindly & respectfully to Mrs: 
Toucey & believe me ever to be sincerely your friend 

James Buchanan. 

Hon. Isaac Toucey. 



TO MR. HOOVER.^ 

Private. 

Wheatland 4 July 1849. 
My dear Sir/ 

I have just received your kind letter of the 29th ultimo, 
postmarked July 3d, & hasten to give it an answer before setting 
out for the Bedford Springs. Had I received it, with the Re- 
public, sooner, T might have deemed it necessary to cause an 
article to be prepared in reply. A week has now passed & I do 
not consider it worth the while. 

The '* drop of blood lie " has been often refuted : & finally 
in my absence by a large number of the most respectable Demo- 
crats & Whigs of Lancaster when the charge was made against 



^ Buchanan Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Of J. D. Hoover, 
J. Buchanan Henry, Esq., in a letter to the editor, says that he was " marshal 
of the District of Columbia under President Pierce; was a good Democrat, 
and a friend of Mr, Buchanan." 



364 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

me in the Convention to reform our Constitution. I did serve 
as a volunteer in the war with Great Britain & this the RepubUc 
does not deny. That I dehvered an oration, not zvhilst the war 
was raging, hut after the peace, containing some things which I 
regret, on the 4th July 181 5, — nozv thirty-four years ago, is 
certain. Mr. Gregg never zvas a federalist. The truth is that 
my family w^ere federal; & I commenced life under that name. 
The war was declared against Great Britain whilst I was a 
student at law; & outraged at the course of the Eastern fed- 
eralists, the very first public speech I ever made was in favor of 
raising volunteers to march against the enemy, & I was the first 
man of the assemblage to volunteer myself. As soon as I 
directed my mind to the subject of politicks, I became a Democrat, 
& for at least a quarter of a century, through good & evil report, 
I have employed all my powers in support of Democratic prin- 
ciples. So uniform & consistent have I been, that my enemies 
are obliged to go back more than a quarter of a century to find 
charges of the least plausibility against me ; & these are confined 
to such statements as are contained in the Republic. 

From the few numbers I have seen of this paper, it is a 
poor concern & will before very long die the death of the Whig. 

It is my purpose in the course of the present year to have 
a volume of my select speeches published commencing in 1822 : 
& probably a sketch of my life may precede them. These & it 
will shew what I have been & what I am. In the mean time, I 
consider it best not to notice the Republic. 

I regret that I did not see you whilst I was in Washington. 
The weather was so hot & I was so oppressed by it that I was 
glad to make my escape after I had transacted the private 
business which took me there. 

In haste, I remain 

Very respectfully 3^our friend 

James Buchanan. 
J. D. Hoover. 

P. S. I rejoice that you did not go to California. 



1849] FROM MR. BLAIR 365 

FROM MR. BLAIR.' 

Silver Spring, 22 Nov. 1849. 
My dear Sir : 

It touches me sensibly to observe in your note, that the deep grief felt 
at the loss of a sister awakens regrets for our estrangement. Nothing costs 
a kind heart severer pangs, than alienation from the friend of many years, 
at a time of life too late to make new attachments. Hence I never com- 
plained to you nor of you, unwilling to allow political repulsions to be 
ripened into personal ill-will, by heated controversy, which, from your posi- 
tion, I foresaw would be inevitable if I expressed my dissatisfaction. I 
silently dropped the intimacy, which had been a source of so much gratifica- 
tion to me. It is due, however, since you ask it, that I should let you know 
how my mind has been impressed. 

It was a long time before you were connected in my suppositions with 
Mr. Polk's ungrateful & insidious treatment of the great & good men who 
gave him his public consequence. His heartless sacrifice of the most anxious 
wishes of the noble old chief who raised his inferiority through successive 
distinctions to the highest (the overthrow of the Press which the General 
had built up with such fond hopes for the vindication of his policy — the dis- 
mission of friends for whom he implored with the feeble pen which showed 
it was the last boon he could ever ask) could not have accorded well with 
the sympathies you were known to entertain. Nor could the sinister policy 
which gave the enemies of Van Buren & Wright the power of the adminis- 
tration to sap their strength at home, at the hazard of ruining the Democratic 
party, have had your approbation. Every body perceived the selfish design, 
and you not less evidently than others, because the same policy was brought 
to bear on you in your own State. Everywhere the leading men of the party 
were to be undermined in their strongholds by local rivalries, that the 
re-election of the presidential incumbent might become a party necessity. 

It was in the case of Col. Benton that I first had reason to believe that 
you entered into this policy of Mr. Polk; whether as likely rather to enure 
to your own advantage, is a suggestion that might not have entered into 
the calculation, inasmuch as public considerations may, with you, have had 
controlling weight. Mr. Polk's prospects, however, were well nigh extin- 
guished, when he threw himself on Colo. Benton's counsels, to deliver him 
in that crisis of the Mexican war when the frontier conquests promised 
nothing but an eternal border foray. The plan of the Whigs — of Genl. 
Taylor — of Calhoun — and it is believed of the cabinet for the most part, was 
a defensive war of Posts, which must have out-lived the administration & 
ended its career overwhelmed with the country's dissatisfaction. Colo. 
Benton's plan of operations, (striking at the heart of Mexico in her capital) 
being adopted, put an end to the war — bringing with it extensive conquests, 
guarantied by a treaty of peace instead of a war of posts. Mr. Polk after 
appropriating Col. Benton's bold conception and adopting his written chart, 
to carry it out, asked him to take upon himself the execution & proposed 
to him the Lieutenant Generalship. That this failed, though favored by the 
people's immediate Representatives, through latent jealousy producing a 



Buchanan Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 



366 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

betrayal in the quarter whence the proposal came, is pretty generally 
believed. When the Senate by an unhesitating confirmation of Col. Benton 
as Major General gave the power & threw the responsibility on the admin- 
istration of clothing him with the command in chief which had been offered 
by it, in the first instance, the real state of feeling in the cabinet was 
revealed. It was at the point of time when this matter was just decided 
that I met you on my way to Col. Benton's to ascertain the result. On 
learning my errand, you smiled somewhat jeeringly and exclaimed, "Why, 
Mr. Blair, do you think the Colonel at his time of life capable of such a 
command?" The conversation which ensued left no doubt as to the result 
& that you had contributed to it. 

Apart from the bad faith to Colo. Benton or its effects on himself, the 
selfish motives of the course adopted & its consequences to the democratic 
party were enough to array all its true hearted friends against the plotters 
in power. The Whigs were to have the command in the war. The Demo- 
crats were obliged to bear whatever responsibility might attach to it ; and 
the Administration fancied, doubtless, that the democratic party would place 
the glory of the achievements of the Whig Leaders to the account of those 
who were at the head of affairs, and who were also charged with the party's 
interests & identified with its success : whereas those managers saw, that if 
Democratic Generals led our armies to victory, they might supplant the 
power at Washington in the affections of its supporters, on all the considera- 
tions upon which they relied themselves. But what a fond calculation, to 
put the whole military power & treasure of the country in the hands of 
political enemies with democratic armies to lead, & to suppose that the 
masses would carry their exploits and lay them at the feet of a board of 
Secretaries far from the field of action. The Administration notwithstand- 
ing was, doubtless, encouraged in its course by the thought that their party 
friends would be reluctant to give Scott &: Taylor the glories of a war on 
which one had turned his back at the threshold and the other prosecuted 
reluctantly with a protest against having advised it. But the President and 
his friends were sure that if Benton or any other eminent Democrat who 
had declared the war & boldly supported it in debate, were to bring it to a 
triumphant close, the laurels gathered round his brow might crown him 
with the highest honor of the Republic. There was more danger, then, it was 
thought, in Benton or Houston than in Taylor or Scott, achieving democratic 
victories. 

The denouement of this policy is now upon us, but I apprehend we have 
only " the beginning of the end." It is a sad sight to witness the simple but 
noble structure built up & consecrated to Democracy by Jackson, Van Buren, 
Wright, Benton, Buchanan, & other illustrious Statesmen undermined & over- 
thrown by the selfish schemes of an administration, — striking down the man 
by whom it was installed, — a very sorry sight even for one who only carried 
a hod m the building. But what may we not expect, when we have already 
seen that devoted party whose spirit & patriotism have triumphed in all the 
wars of the country, & recently enriched it by conquests extending from 
ocean to ocean, marched under the Caudine forks of federalism & made to 
surrender the govt, to an opposition which has been at heart against the 
Republic in every battle since the Revolution. 

But I am now a dead man in politics, and would not revive buried griefs. 



1849] TO MR. BLAIR 367 

Your letter has called up the bitterest — that of making Scott and Taylor 
heroes at the expense of the life's blood of a party that owed them no such 
sacrifice. I would rather remember the friendly offices & kindly social feeling 
exhibited during my intercourse with the chiefs of my party, in their happier 
days. With none of them have I enjoyed more cheerful pleasant hours than 
with you. I would gladly renew our friendly meetings. In the meantime 
I recur with pleasure, as you say you do, to " auld lang syne " — in its remem- 
brance banishing the present. 

With offerings of tender sympathy for your late bereavement I am, 
Dear Sir, 

Cordially your friend 

F. P. Blair. 



TO MR. BLAIR/ 

Wheatland 27 November 1849. 
My dear Sir/ 

I received, on yesterday evening, your favor of the 226. 
Instant : & most heartily do I rejoice that our ancient friendly 
relations have been restored, never again, I trust, to be inter- 
rupted. I shall ever consider that it was a fortunate inspiration 
which prompted me to take the first step towards such a gratify- 
ing result. 

There are some parts of your letter which might excuse me 
for making an extended answer; but I am determined both now 
& hereafter to avoid any discussioh which might by possibility 
revive unpleasant feelings. Besides, my delicate relations as a 
member of Mr. Polk's cabinet would prevent me from speaking 
of what occurred in Cabinet Council. 

Still duty to myself impels me again explicitly to declare 
that I have never wronged in thought, word, or deed : & further 
to state that up till the day of Mr. Wright's death, he had reason 
to know I was his sincere & devoted friend both personally & 
politically. As a public evidence of this, you are aware that 
without hesitation, I assumed the responsibility of changing the 
printer of the laws from the Argus to the Atlas simply because 
the latter was his friend & the former his opponent. Of all the 
public men I have ever known, he combined the soundest head 
with the warmest heart. 

It is my duty to say one word concerning the conduct of 
the late President in regard to the Lieutenant Generalship. If 



^ Buchanan Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 



368 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1849 

I were called upon in a Court of Justice to give testimony, I 
should be obliged to declare it as my opinion, from all I ever 
saw or heard, that he is guiltless of the imputation of having by 
any means, direct or indirect, endeavored to defeat the Bill 
before the Senate. From a high, it may have been a mistaken 
sense of public duty, I was opposed to placing any civilian at 
the head of the army, & this I did not conceal from Col : Benton 
himself. In arriving at this conclusion I can truly say that all 
my personal feelings were in conflict with my judgment. After 
the President, however, had determined upon the measure, I 
never either directly or indirectly attempted to thwart or oppose 
it in either branch of Congress. Upon recurring to the ayes & 
noes in the Senate, I find that every Democrat present voted 
against laying the Bill on the table except Messrs. Butler & 
Calhoun of South Carolina & Yulee of Florida : & surely these 
three votes may be accounted for without supposing that Mr. 
Polk desired or attempted to defeat this Bill. I know that he 
expected the votes of Mr. Crittenden & some other Whig 
Senators in its favor. 

But enough & more than enough of this. With you I 
deplore the fatal effects of the dissensions which have arisen in 
the glorious old Democratic party at the head of which stood 
the noblest Roman of them all, sustained by a Press which 
has not since been equalled & in this country has never been 
surpassed. For my own part, so intent was I on giving to Mr. 
Van Buren an unanimous nomination in 1844, that in December, 
1843, 1 publickly declined being a candidate in order that he might 
from the beginning obtain the vote of Penna. in the Convention. 
The Texas question was the Grecian horse that entered our 
Camp. It came there without any previous knowledge on my 
part: & I have always believed that had you been then in sound 
health, we should have been saved from this calamity. 

Nothing would afford me more sincere pleasure than to wel- 
come Mrs. Blair & yourself to Wheatland. I cannot expect the 
pleasure of such a visit during the winter: but if we all should 
live until the next summer, I shall take no denial. You often 
go North, and there is an excellent & well conducted rail road 
from Baltimore to Lancaster & from thence to Philadelphia. 

In sincerity & truth, I remain your friend 

James Buchanan. 
Francis P. Blair. 



1850] TO W. R. KING 369 

1850. 

TO W. R. KING/ 

Wheatland 6 March 1850. 
My dear Sir/ 

I wish you to be my Mentor & I now write to you for 
advice. It is my determination to pubHsh a letter on the Slavery 
question, if I thoug'ht it would do good; but the Missouri Com- 
promise must be the basis of this letter, should I publish at all. 
I observe that Mr. Foote is convinced that his Committee will 
settle the whole difficulty. What is the plan? If it should be 
different from that Compromise, my letter might do harm instead 
of good. Besides, if the South should yield, without any per- 
mission express or implied, the liberty to take slaves to any 
portion of the territory, this would place me in a most embar- 
rassing position at the North, for then I should go further than 
they require. The Baltimore resolutions are very tame & 
coming from a slave holding State will do harm. 

My letter, for it is already prepared, goes against 

1. The agitation, of which I give a history. 

2. Against the Wilmot Proviso. 

3. Against the abolition of Slavery in the District. 

4. In favor of an efficient Act concerning fugitives & of 
the repeal of all counteracting State Laws. 

5. In regard to the territories, — it goes in favor of running 
the Missouri Compromise to the Pacific, through California, & 
admitting that portion North of 36° 30' as a State, admitting 
the right of the South to carry their Slaves South of it. 

6. It does not oppose the settlement of the whole question 
contemporaneously if the South should agree to it by admitting 
all California; measures being at the same time taken to admit 
a State from Texas, the Missouri Compromise however to be 
applicable to the remainder of the Territory. 

I have prepared the letter with care & I think it would do 
some good in this region; but to do any thing efficient towards 
the settlement of the question, it must not be in opposition to or 
in conflict with the plan of settlement which may be adopted at 
Washington. 

I ought to add that finally I say the admission of California 



^ Buchanan Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 
Vol. VIII— 24 



370 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1850 

per se would not be an injury to the South of a character which 
would justify the dissolution of the Union. 

Will you be kind enough to put on your considering cap & 
advise me. T am exceedingly pressed to publish, & would, there- 
fore, thank you to write me as soon as convenient & consider 
this perfectly confidential, as your letter shall be considered 
by me. 

Please to remember me in the very kindest terms to Mrs. 
Ellis, & give my love to Margaret, & believe me always to be 
sincerely & respectfully your friend 

James Buchanan. 
Col: King. 

P. S. I regretted some parts of Mr. Calhoun's speech very 
much but w^as not astonished. If the South depend upon Web- 
ster, I venture to predict they will depend on a broken reed; 
but right glad will I be, should it prove to be otherwise. The 
appointment of his son is ominous. 



TO MR. KING.^ 

Wheatland 15 March 1850. 
My dear Sir/ 

I have just received the National Intelligencer of yesterday 
morning, & in looking over the proceedings of the Senate, I 
find that Mr. Seward said, — **' I think it was Jefferson who said 
that the natural ally of Slavery in the South was the Democracy 
of the North." 

'' Mr. Hale. It w^as Mr. Buchanan who said so.'' 

Now, I have been greatly injured by the circulation of 
brief, short sentences falsely attributed to me, witness the drop 
of blood lie, & I have no doubt, unless this is put to rest on the 
floor of the Senate, the abolition & free soil papers of the North 
will have this sentence placarded in all their papers : 

" The natural ally of Slavery in the South is the Democracy 
of the North." James Buchanan. 

General Cass & Mr. Foote were very ready to defend Mr. 
Jefferson, but did not say a w^ord about your absent friend. 

The only observation which according to my best recollec- 



* Buchanan Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 



1850] FROM MR. DAVIS 371 

tion I ever made that would give the least color to such an 
imputation is to be found in my speech on the veto power de- 
livered in the Senate of the United States on the 2d February, 
1842, reported in the Appendix to the Congressional Globe for 
that year, page 133. The particular portion of this speech to 
which I refer you will find in page 137. It begins with the fol- 
lowing sentence : — " Let me suppose another case of a much 
more dangerous character," &c. &c. 

I shall be very happy indeed to have the whole of this para- 
graph read. I don't retract a word of it; but glory in it. This, 
however, affords no foundation for the charge. 

I may have said upon other occasions in the Senate, for I 
have often said it in conversation, that beyond the limits of the 
Slave States themselves, the vSlaveholders have no friends or 
allies to stand by their constitutional rights except the Democracy 
of the North. This is true to the letter & has been true for many 
years. 

You might discover to what speech of mine Hale refers. 
I have no fear that he can shew any such expression of mine 
anywhere. 

I am sorry to give you this trouble, but to whom else can I 
refer to put me right but yourself. 

From your friend very respectfully 

James Buchanan. 
Hon: Wm. R. King. 

P. S. If you choose, please to shew this letter to Col : Davis. 
I know he would alwavs be willinsf to defend an absent friend. 



FROM MR. DAVIS.^ 

Senate Chamber, 15th March, 1850. 
J. B. Buchanan 

My dear Sir: I have delayed for some time a purpose not any time 
abandoned of writing to you on a matter concerning both of us & yourself 
particularly. 

Soon after you left here, Mr. Cameron called on me and questioned the 
propriety of my remarks made in relation to yourself in connection with the 
Mo. Compromise. He produced an old newspaper in which an account was 
given of a meeting in Lancaster, say in 1820. Among other resolutions my 
attention was called to one taking decided ground against slavery, especially 



^ Buchanan Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 



372 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1850 

against the admission of any more slave states. I saw the paper but once 
and do not very clearly remember its contents. 

I informed Mr. C. that I would write to you, as a matter of justice to 
you and myself. 

And now having commenced I will further say that it is reported here 
that you recoiled from the proposition to extend the Mo. Comp. line with 
the admission of the right to take slaves into the territory south of that 
line. Thus you are unfavorably compared with Mr. Cass, who has, it is 
reported, said to friends that he would go thus far. 

As ever your friend 

Jefferson Davis. 



TO MR. DAVIS/ 



Private & confidential. 

Wheatland i6 March 1850. 
My dear Sir/ 

I was in Town this afternoon & receiving your letter there 
I gave it a hasty answer, provoked thereto by the conduct of 
Cameron. 

So far from having in any degree recoiled from the Missouri 
Compromise, I have prepared a letter to sustain it written with 
all the little ability of which I am master. You may ask, why 
has it not been published? The answer is very easy. From a 
careful examination of the proceedings in Congress, it is clear 
that non-intervention is all that zvill be required by the South. 
Webster's speech is to be the basis of the compromise; — it is 
lauded to the echo by distinguished Southern men; — and what 
is it? Non-intervention, & non-intervention simply because the 
Wilniot Proviso is not required to prevent the curse of Slavery 
from being inflicted on the territories. Under these circum- 
stances it would be madness in me to publish my letter & take 
higher ground for the South than they have taken for them- 
selves. This would be to out-Herod Herod & to be more South- 
ern than the South. It could do no good; but might do much 
mischief. 

The truth is the South have got themselves into a condition 
on this question from w^hich it appears to me now they cannot 
extricate themselves. My proposition of the Missouri Compro- 
mise was at once abandoned by them: and the cry was non- 
intervention. They fought the battle at the last Presidential 



Buchanan Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 



1850] TO MR. DAVIS 373 

election with this device upon their banners. The Democracy of 
Pennsylvania are now everywhere rallying to non-intervention. 
They suppose, in doing this, they are standing by the South in 
the manner most acceptable to their Southern brethren. Our 
Democratic Journals are praising the speech of Webster because 
all the appearances are that it is satisfactory to the South. It is 
now too late to change front with any hope of success. You 
may retreat with honor upon the principle that you can carry 
your slaves to California & hold them there under the Constitu- 
tion & refer this question to the Supreme Court of the United 
States. I am sorry both for your sakes & my own that such is 
the condition in which you are placed. 

/ say for my ozmi sake, because I can never yield the position 
Avhich I have deliberately taken in favor of the Missouri Com- 
promise ; & I shall be assailed by fanatics & f ree-soilers, as long 
as I live, for having gone further in support of the rights of 
the South than Southern Senators & Representatives. I am com- 
mitted for the Missouri Compromise; & that committal shall 
stand. 

Should there be any unexpected change in the aspect of 
affairs at Washington which would hold out the hope that the 
publication of my Missouri Compromise letter would do any 
good, it shall yet be published. I was about to write more ; but 
this letter is long enough. 

It may be & doubtless was the fact that in 1819 or 1820 
my name was placed on a Committee which reported the resolu- 
tions to which that scamp General Cameron refers. I was then 
a young man — had a great veneration for the chairman of the 
Committee as my legal preceptor, & probably was under the 
influence of the excitement then universal in Pennsylvania. I 
first went to Congress in December, 1821 ; & throughout my 
whole public career have been uniform in maintaining the just 
constitutional rights of the South. I have made more speeches 
on this subject both on the floor of the Senate & at home than 
probably any other man now living. One of them I now enclose 
to you marked, which fell into my hands last evening whilst I 
was looking for other matters. 

I wish you would read my speech through on the Veto 
Power. It is the only one I ever made which fully pleases 
myself. 

From your friend very respectfully 

James Buchanan. 
Hon : Jefferson Davis. 



374 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1850 

P. S. Why did not the Southern gentlemen agree upon a 
common basis of settlement? Please to let me hear from you 
soon. I am invited very specially to a wedding in Washington 
& probably I may be there for one day on the 9th April. Would 
to Heaven that General Taylor might come out in favor of the 
Missouri Compromise! I should glory in sustaining him. 



FROM MR. KING.^ 

Washington City, March 20, 1850. 
My dear Sir: 

You will see by the papers of this morning that on yesterday I called 
the attention of that scamp Hale to the statement he made on the 13 Inst, in 
the Senate. It was not heard by me at the time it was made, nor do I 
believe it was by any of your friends on this side of the House ; or it would 
certainly have been contradicted instantaneously. You will perceive that Hale 
proposes to make good his assertion, but I scarcely think he will attempt it, 
after having heard your remarks read by Col. Davis, in whose hands I had 
placed the Congressional Globe for that purpose. I had written thus far 
when Hale informed me that he had written for information to sustain his 
statement, and that he felt confident he would be able to do so. Should he 
attempt it, you may rest assured that no injustice shall be done you, if 
your Friends in the Senate can prevent it. Col. Davis has shewn me your 
letters to him. I was before fully aware of the hostile movements of that 
unprincipled intriguing fellow Simon Cameron. He has long been your 
enemy; but I trust his entire destitution of all political principle, and I 
would add in my opinion moral honesty, is too well understood in Pennsyl- 
vania to enable him to injure you. I know no man more unfortunate than 
yourself in having his opinions on this Slavery question tortured and mis- 
represented, to subserve their selfish purposes. I doubt not you will live 
them down, and that your patriotic course will in the end be appreciated by 
the American people. 

Your Friend sincerely 

William R. King. 
HoNL. James Buchanan. 



TO MR. KING/ 

Wheatland 20 March 1850. 
My dear Sir/ 

I have this moment received your favor & hasten to make 
my warm & grateful acknowledgments to Colonel Davis & your- 
self for the able & judicious manner in which you have defended 
me. 



* Buchanan Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 



1850] TO MR. KING 375 

It seems that Hale has written for information to sustain 
his statement, which is that I had said '' that the natural ally of 
Slavery in the South was the Democracy of the North." To 
whom or where has he written? The man who could carry in 
his pocket the proceedings of a public meeting held more than 
thirty years ago to prove that I was now opposed to the Missouri 
Compromise & the admission of any more Slave States into the 
Union, for the purpose of poisoning the mind of Col: Davis 
against me, would be capable of going to Mr. Hale, on the other 
side, & informing him that I had made the declaration imputed 
to me. That same man can doubtless purchase a certificate from 
individuals to this effect. He & Senator Cooper are bosom 
friends, — '' two bodies with one soul inspired." His son & 
Cooper are partners in the practice of the law at Pottsville, & 
it is through the agency of Cooper that he expects to obtain 
the united Whig vote in the Legislature of Pennsylvania, which 
with a few fishy Democrats whom he may seduce will, he hopes, 
in case our majority should be small, re-elect him to the Senate. 
I venture to say that should the Collector of Philadelphia be his 
friend, the patronage will be used & the effort will be untiring to 
elect Whigs from the County of Philadelphia who will vote for 
Cameron. 

All his efforts will, however, in any event be vain: and 
General Cass has greatly injured himself in this State by his 
supposed identification wath General Cameron. 

But to the point : — every effort will be made to fasten that 
short sentence upon me for the purpose of injuring me in the 
North. 

I made many speeches both before the Presidential election 
of 1840 & 1844. In all of them, I believe, without exception, I 
assailed the abolitionists. This was both just & politic. It was 
my desire & purpose to keep them down in Pennsylvania. I 
doubtless did say, more than once, after delineating the dangers 
to the Union which might result from the accursed spirit of 
abolition, that the South had no allies throughout the world, 
save the Northern Democracy, in maintaining their constitutional 
rights on the question of Slavery. This I believed then & to a 
very great extent I believe now. The purpose, however, is to 
prove that I am the advocate of slavery per se: and it is possible 
that some abolitionists or free soilers who heard one or more 
of my speeches may certify that I had declared nakedly & 
without qualification " that the natural ally of Slavery in the 



376 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1850 

South was the Democracy of the North." If such should be 
the case, you may pronounce it upon my authority to be a base 
slander. Who would believe that I could be such a fool, espe- 
cially before a Northern audience, as to make such an unqualified 
declaration ? No man of sense. But they want to fasten it upon 
me for the purpose of deceiving the ignorant. / have no doubt 
it zi'os a concerted scheme. 

The truth is, I have a letter written, nay printed, on the 
general subject of Slavery, in which I take strong ground in 
favor of the Missouri Compromise. It is one of my own few 
productions which exactly pleases myself. The sole reason why 
it has not been published is that it might interfere with the settle- 
ment of the question by Mr. Foote's committee, which will cer- 
tainly agree upon non-intervention, if they should be able to agree 
upon any thing. Besides it would be in direct opposition to 
the Baltimore platform, the Nicholson letter, General Cass's 
speech, & the proceedings of the noble Democracy of this State, 
based upon these foundations. At the present moment, it would 
do harm; but I think the time will arrive when it may do good. 
If the question can be settled upon the principle of non-interven- 
tion, I say Amen with all my heart. If this should fail, my letter 
may yet come into play. When I sat down to write, I had a 
great mind to send you a copy of it; but for the present it is 
needless. 

If the base conduct of Cameron towards myself could be 
known throughout Pennsylvania, this would floor him. Should 
the subject ever again come up, if Davis, as an instance of the 
efforts made by the abolitionists & their friends to prostrate 
every man in the North who sustained the constitutional rights 
of the South, would refer to the incident in relation to Cameron, 
it would have this effect. I do not advise or request this course, 
however I might wish it, unless Cameron should be implicated 
with Hale, which I only suspect. 

Please to remember me very kindly to Mrs. Ellis & Miss 
Margaret, & believe me to be your much obliged friend 

James Buchanan. 
Hon: Wm. R. King. 

P. S. Please to remember me most kindly & gratefully to 
Col: Davis: & do not suffer this letter to lie about on your table 
for the inspection of those who may come into your room. I 
except Mrs. Ellis & Margaret, who may see any thing I write. 



1850] TO MR. GRUND 377 

TO MR. GRUND.^ 

Private. 

Wheatland 13 April 1850. 
My dear Sir/ 

I observe from the Herald, that Greeley has been assailing 
Mr. Polk's administration for not having maintained the Monroe 
Doctrine against European colonization on this continent, which 
it had asserted in December, 1845, i^^ ^^^^ ^^"^t annual message of 
the President. An assault from this quarter I should not re- 
gard, because I know that time zvill put all things right; but I 
regret to observe that Mr. Bennett seems to agree in opinion 
with Greeley on this subject. They may say what they will, 
Bennett is an extraordinary man ; and although he was never 
friendly to the administration of Mr. Polk, he always did justice 
to our foreign policy. I should be sorry, therefore, if he w^ould 
fall into error in regard to the Monroe doctrine; and I shall 
now proceed to give you a few hints to refresh your memory so 
that you may, if you think proper, at a convenient season, write 
a letter to the Herald on the subject. 

You will recollect that in April, 1846, General Arista com- 
menced the Mexican war by crossing the Rio Grande & invading 
the territory of Texas; & that on 13 May, 1846, the existence of 
the war, in consequence of the act of Mexico, was recognized by 
Congress. Peace was not concluded until the 4 July, 1848, when 
the Treaty was proclaimed. Now although no prudent adminis- 
tration during the war would voluntarily raise a question with 
Great Britain on the subject of the Monroe doctrine, it being 
wise " to be off with the old love before w^e are on with the 
new," yet it so happens that this doctrine was twice asserted in 
the face of Great Britain during this perilous period & with the 
happiest effects. 

It is known to the whole world, with what a longing desire 
Great Britain viewed California & especially the harbor of San 
Francisco. It is one of those commercial points which it has 
been her policy to appropriate to herself, per fas aut nefas. 
Her feelings in favor of Mexico were openly expressed during 
the war ; and it was believed, in case we should fail in conquering 
California, that she would obtain possession of it from Mexico. 
It, therefore, became necessary to apprise her clearly in advance. 



* Buchanan Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 



378 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1850 

so far as the Executive Government was concerned, that this 
could only be accomplished at the expense of a war with the 
United States. Mr. Polk, therefore, in his message of Decem- 
ber, 1847, whilst the war was raging, declares, " That should 
any foreign Government attempt to possess it (California) as 
a colony, or attempt to incorporate it with itself, the principle 
avowed by President Monroe in 1824, & reaffirmed in my first 
annual message, that no foreign power shall, with our consent, 
he permitted to plant or establish any new colony or dominion 
on any part of the North American Continent, must be main- 
tained. In maintaining this principle & resisting its invasion by 
any foreign power, we might be involved in other wars more 
expensive & more difficult than that in which we are now 
engaged." 

Again : — A second occasion arose during the war for assert- 
ing this principle in the face of Great Britain. 

You will recollect that a terrible war, a war of extermina- 
tion, was raging between the Indians & the whites of Yucatan : 
& that the latter made a powerful & pathetic appeal to the 
Government of the United States to save them from destruction. 
V\^e had been informed that the British authorities at Belize, in 
the colony of British Honduras, had been furnishing the savages 
wath arms; & that the eventual object of the British Government 
most probably was to establish a protectorate over the Indians 
along the coast of Yucatan as they had done along the Mosquito 
shore. But such was the dreadful condition of Yucatan that 
she offered to either the United States, Great Britain, or Spain 
the " dominion & sovereignty of the peninsula " as the price of 
defending it against the Indians. In answer to the appeal of 
the commissioners from Yucatan, Mr. Polk sent a message to 
Congress on the 29 April, 1848 (Executive Doc. of the ist Ses- 
sion of 30th Congress, No. 40 — Congressional Globe, page 709). 
In this he declares : " Whilst it is not my purpose to recommend 
the adoption of any measure with a view to the acquisition of the 
' dominion & sovereignty ' over Yucatan ; yet according to our 
established policy, we could not consent to a transfer of this 
' dominion & sovereignty,' either to Spain, Great Britain, or any 
other European Power." In the language of President Monroe, 
in his message of December, 1823, "We should consider any 
attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of 
this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace & safety," &c. &c. &c. 
Again : " Our own security requires that the established policy 



1850] TO MR. GRUND 379 

thus announced should guide our conduct, & this applies with 
great force to the Peninsula of Yucatan," &c. &c. &c. Again : 
" We have now authentic information that, if the aid asked from 
the United States be not granted, such aid will probably be 
obtained from some European power, which may hereafter 
assert a claim to ' dominion & sovereignty ' over Yucatan," 
&c. &c. 

The concluding sentence of the message, all of which I hope 
you will read, is as follows : ''I have considered it proper to 
communicate the information contained in the accompanying 
correspondence, & I submit to the wisdom of Congress to adopt 
such measures as in their judgment may be expedient, to prevent 
Yucatan from becoming a colony of any European power, which 
in no event could he permitted by the United States; and, at the 
same time, to rescue the white race from extermination or ex- 
pulsion from their country." 

Then comes the Protectorate assumed by Great Britain over 
the King of the Mosquitos. Concerning this I cannot give you 
specific information, because the documents have not yet been 
published. Great Britain had assumed this protectorate for 
many years before the commencement of the late administration, 
though she had not actually attempted to plant any colony on the 
Mosquito shore. What madness would it then have been for us 
to raise a quarrel with her, whilst the Mexican war was raging, 
concerning this protectorate! Besides, we could have accom- 
plished nothing. Mexico was situated between us & the Isthmus : 
& we could not have reached it by sea. Wisdom & policy re- 
quired that we should wait for a more convenient season. 

But above all it was necessary to wait until the States of the 
Isthmus were united & willing themselves to resist British Coloni- 
zation, before we should come to their assistance. 

The Federation of the Centre of America had been rudely 
broken up. The five petty states of which it had been composed 
were each independent of the other: & such scenes of distraction, 
civil war, & incessant change of rulers as existed in each of them 
have probably never heretofore been exhibited on a small scale 
on the face of the earth. One of them, Costa Rica, had even 
offered to go under the protection of Great Britain : & I have no 
doubt this offer would have been gladly accepted, but for the 
determination which Mr. Polk's administration had always 
evinced to resist European Colonization on this continent. 

The Mosquito Shore over which Great Britain claimed 



380 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1850 

the protectorate extended along the whole of the seacoast from 
Cape Honduras to Esciida de Veragtia, thus excluding from the 
Caribbean sea that part of Honduras south of Cape Honduras, 
& the entire states of Nicaragua & Costa Rica, as well as the New 
Granadian State of Veragua. 

The British Colony of Belize or British Honduras, more 
properly called British Yucatan, was within about two hundred 
miles of the so called Mosquito shore: and the States of Central 
America w^ere so feeble & distracted as to invite the aggressions 
of Great Britain. 

Under such circumstances what was the first duty of the 
American Government, especially whilst engaged in a war re- 
quiring all its resources? Most unquestionably to endeavor to 
reunite the five Central American States in opposition to British 
colonization on their coast, to convince them of their danger, 
& to suppress, if possible, their intestine wars & revolutions, 
which would make them an easy prey to the first invaders. 
After the capture & occupation of the city of San Juan de 
Nicaragua by the British, which took place some time in Feb- 
ruary, 1848, this duty would still become more imperative. But 
these States must first be willing to unite and help themselves 
before calling upon Hercules for assistance; and if Hercules 
did all he could to place them in this position, he performed 
his preliminary duty. What the Government actually did I 
am not at liberty to disclose. So much as was done publickly 
is of course known to the whole world. 

Mr. Polk, in his annual message of December, 1847, after 
solemnly reasserting the Monroe doctrine, recommended the 
establishment of a new mission to Guatemala, by far the most 
populous & powerful of the five Central xAimerican States. The 
necessary appropriation was made on the 27 March, 1848; and 
Elijah Hise was appointed Charge d'affaires early in April. He 
was not able to leave the United States until the beginning of 
June : & what instructions he bore with him will be found in the 
State Department, as well as those communicated to Mr. Ban- 
croft. It would be improper for me to speak of them to any 
person. 

Mr. Hise, on account of sickness & accidents, was neces- 
sarily but unfortunately so long detained on the way to Central 
America that no despatch was received from him after he had 
reached the place of his destination until Mr. Polk's administra- 
tion had ceased to exist. This was a cause of severe mortifica- 



1850] FROM MR. KING 381 

tion to us all: & necessarily prevented Mr. Polk from laying 
the whole subject before Congress. 

The last administration have given so many proofs of their 
devotion to the Monroe doctrine that it is now; too late in the 
day to dispute it: & they were never afraid, upon any proper 
occasion, to avow it to the world. They twice did so, in the 
face of Great Britain, whilst the Mexican war was raging; 
although they well knew how hostile the Government of that 
Country was to us in this war & how friendly to Mexico. 

Now, my dear Sir, I have furnished you the material to 
write a letter upon this subject which will be historical. With 
your well known ability, you can put this question to rest. It is 
not necessary that it should appear immediately. You can take 
your time for it; if you should think proper to write at all. If 
not, you will at least have a knowledge of the facts which may 
be useful in future. Forney has so completely exposed the 
ignorance of Greeley both of history and geography in regard 
to Belize that I need say nothing on this subject. I send you 
the extract from the Pennsylvanian. 

I hope that the next time you visit Philadelphia you will be 
able to stop a day with me on the road either in going or return- 
ing. I shall give you a cordial welcome. 
Yours very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 
Francis J. Grund, Esq. 

P. S. It would probably be best not to attack Greelev but 
make the letter purely historical. 



FROM MR. KING.^ 

Washington City, May 8, 1850. 
Dear Buchanan 

The strictures contained in your letter upon the Treaty lately entered 
into with Sir Henry Bulwer, as you suppose it to be, satisfy me that you 
& myself shall not concur in our views of the propriety of the Treaty as it 
actually is. In the first place, I am decidedly opposed to any further acqui- 
sition of Territory at this time in any quarter, and I never expect to live 
to see the day when I shall be willing to have any portion of Central America 
annexed to our Government. Its remote situation and degraded mongrel 
population would involve us in constant difficulties, without bringing any 



Buchanan Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 



382 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1850 

adequate remuneration. Our Territory is even now too extensive, I fear, 
for the harmonious working of our system, and after witnessing the results 
produced by our recent acquisitions on the Pacific, I am free to declare that 
I regret most sincerely that it was ever dismembered from Mexico. What 
are its gold mines and its commerce, when weighed in the balance against 
the embittered strife of section against section, consequent upon its acquisi- 
tion ; & which, if it does not lead to a violent sundering of the bonds of 
union, will, I much fear, so sap the foundation upon which the Union rests, 
as to render its duration next to impossible. Hence I repeat, with our 
present experience it is as I conceive hazardous in the extreme to add to 
our already immense Territory. With these views, I saw no objection to 
entering into a Treaty stipulation not to occupy or colonise any portion of 
Central America, when by so doing we are practically enforcing the Monroe 
doctrine, by requiring of England the abandonment of her claim to the 
protectorate of the King of the Musquitoes, and a solemn stipulation that 
under no pretext whatever will she occupy, fortify, colonise, or exercise any 
right of ownership over any part of Central America. Great Britain had 
notoriously taken possession in the name of the Musquito King of a large 
portion of Nicaragua, and by arrangements with Costa Rica was extending 
her protecting arm over nearly one half of Central America. This encroach- 
ment we felt bound to resist, — first in accordance with the principle laid 
down by Monroe ; and secondly because such possession would place it out 
of our power to construct a Canal across the Isthmus, so as to give to us 
an easy communication with our possessions on the Pacific. Which was 
best? To effect these objects by pacific means, or by war? For all seemed 
to agree that her removal must be effected, even by a resort to arms. Now 
I am as you know a man of peace, and always disposed to adopt the most 
gentle course to effect an object however desirable. The Treaty as I conceive 
accomplishes all that we ought to desire, while it strengthens the position we 
have heretofore taken, and avowed to the world. I may be mistaken in 
the views I have expressed ; but if so, four fifths of the Democratic Senators 
whom I consulted before the signature of the Treaty were equally in error. 
The Committee of thirteen reported this day; and on the proposition to 
print the report a debate sprung up, which showed any thing rather than a 
spirit of compromise. I will send you the report when printed, and should 
like to have your views on the various points it discusses. My great objec- 
tion applies to the admission of California with her present limits, — without 
a relinquishment of her right to tax the public lands, or to impose tolls on 
her navigable streams; but above all, her admission with two members of 
Congress, no enumeration having been taken to show the number of inhab- 
itants. I am forced to the conclusion that it is in violation of the Consti- 
tution ; and that she had just as much right to send a dozen members as two. 
I should be glad if you would give me your opinion on this point; for I 
earnestly desire to support the proposed adjustment of this distracting 
question, if I can. Mrs. Ellis tenders you her best respects. 

Your Friend &c. 

William R. King. 
HoNL. J. Buchanan. 



1850] TO MR. KING 383 

TO MR. KING.^ 

Wheatland, near Lancaster, 13 May 1850. 
My dear Sir/ 

I have received your favor of the 8th Instant, & regret that 
for the first time we differ radically upon a question which I 
deem of such vast importance as the Nicaragua Treaty. If it 
were stripped of all stipulations except those relating immedi- 
ately to the Canal, I would not enter into any Treaty engagement 
with England even on this single point. The question was well 
& carefully considered by Mr. Polk's cabinet, at the time of the 
New Granada Treaty, & we determined that whilst we would use 
our good offices, if necessary, to prevail upon Great Britain to 
enter into a similar Treaty to our own with New Granada, we 
would not ourselves become a party to any Treaty whatever 
with G. B. relating to or connected with territory on any part 
of this North American continent. But this is a very small 
affair compared with the right w^hich has been assumed by Great 
Britain & yielded by us to limit our progress on this continent 
throughout all future time. But as you are already committed, 
I shall say no more on the subject & would not have written 
to you at all, had I known you had consulted the Democratic 
Senators upon the Treaty before its signature & obtained their 
consent to it in advance. This shews the great influence of your 
opinions, — an influence which I consider well deserved & emi- 
nently beneficial. You have, however, in my humble opinion, 
missed fire on this occasion. 

You ask my opinion on the compromise reported by the 
Committee of thirteen. On this subject you are far better 
qualified to judge than myself. I have always believed that the 
real difference in practical effect between non-intervention & the 
Wilmot Proviso was that between tweedledum & tweedledee. 
Non-intervention however saves the feelings of the South & 
enables them to triumph over the free soilers. I was convinced 
that in equity & justice the South ought to have a fair proportion 
of the new territories, & I have, therefore, ever been & still am 
an advocate of the Missouri Compromise. 

But what is now the state of affairs? Our friend Foote, 
from the commencement of the Session, has been urging the 
appointment of the Committee. The avowed object was to 



* Buchanan Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 



384 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1850 

obtain just such a report as has been made. Non-intervention — 
the Nicholson letter, has been the cry from the South. The 
speeches made in favor of this policy have been lauded to the 
echo by Southern men & the Southern press. In this state of 
things, the Democracy of the North have moved in favor of what 
they believed & had a right to believe to be the Southern plat- 
form. The Missouri Compromise — any interference with 
slavery in the territories on the part of Congress was denounced 
as unconstitutional both by Messrs. Calhoun & Cass, for opposite 
reasons to be sure, but they united in the same result. It is now 
too late, I honestly believe, to induce the Democracy of the 
North to remove from the platform on which they stand. Had 
the South, at the commencement of the Session, gone for the 
Missouri Compromise through to the Pacific, the Democracy, at 
least in Pennsylvania, would have as freely sustained this meas- 
ure as they have done Non-intervention. The Whig party in 
Pennsylvania wall go for Old Zach's platform of Non-interven- 
tion. Neither Clay nor Webster has much influence with them. 
And what is the difference between the President's non-interven- 
tion & our non-intervention ? Only this. The President will not 
provide even a territorial Government, whilst we propose to do 
this; but so far as regards Slavery, the two plans are precisely 
the same. 

The South occupy a much weaker position in the North than 
they did three months ago. The project of the Nashville Con- 
vention, by exhibiting such a division of opinion in the South, 
has quieted in a considerable degree the apprehensions of the 
North in regard to disunion. 

California is greatly too large for a single State ; & no per- 
son would have thought of admitting her as such, had it not 
been for the Slavery question. Her sea coast embraces as many 
degrees of latitude as that of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Con- 
necticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, 
& North Carolina. Now what would be thought on this side of 
the Rocky Mountains of a State of such dimensions? Cali- 
fornia thus constituted would be an empire in herself. She may 
soon determine to become independent. The best security for 
her continuance in the Union is to divide her territory into two 
or more States, of a convenient size, & thus create rival interests 
on the Pacific, which will render each portion more dependent 
upon the Federal Government. But perhaps a Southern man 
ought to reflect, that every State which shall be carved out of 



1850] TO MR. FOOTE 385 

California will eventually be a free State. Still, if I were a 
member of the Senate, I w^ould vote for & strenuously support 
Clemen's amendment running the Missouri Compromise through 
California as well as through the territories. I should do this 
especially in regard to the latter, if I were a Southern man; 
because the doctrine of non-intervention will be unsatisfactory 
& unpopular in the South within a brief period after it shall have 
been adopted. But above all, & first of all, at the expense of my 
political existence, I would adopt such a course as would preserve 
& harmonize the Union. 

On the point which you specially present, — that of Cali- 
fornia having sent two members to the House of Representatives, 
without any previous enumeration of her inhabitants, — I have 
not formed any decided opinion. This difficulty might be re- 
moved by allowing her but one representative. 

I have written you a long letter, with which I am not pleased 
myself; but shall send it for what it may be worth. I should be 
very glad indeed to see you : & still more so, if you would bring 
Mrs. Ellis along. My niece is here, & if she will come I shall 
send for Mrs. Plitt. I hope she is more comfortably lodged & 
in better health than she was. Miss King I presume has left 
you, as you do not mention her in your last. The best letter 
which I have ever written, — that on the Slave question & in 
favor of the Missouri Compromise, — will now probably never 
see the light. 

Ever your friend 

James Buchanan. 
Hon : Wm. R. King. 



TO MR. FOOTE.^ 

Private. 
Wheatland, near Lancaster, 31 May 1850. 
My dear Sir/ 

I have received yours of the 26th Instant, & most deeply 
regret that I cannot comply with your request; & this simply 
because I could not in conscience write such a letter as would 
promote the object you have in view. There is no man in the 
United States more anxious than myself to see the Slavery 



* Buchanan Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 
Vol. VIII— 25 



386 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1850 

question finally settled in a satisfactory manner both to the North 
& the South ; and surely no honest Northern man, however much 
he may be opposed to the extension of Slavery, could reasonably 
expect better terms than those proposed by the Committee of 
thirteen. If these terms should prove satisfactory to the South, 
I say Amen, with all my heart. But how stands the fact ? 

The North support the Bill, because they are convinced that 
the Mexican Constitution & laws abolishing slavery remain in 
force in the Territories & are a sufficient Wilmot Proviso to 
exclude slavery from them. 

On the other hand, you & other Southern gentlemen sup- 
port the Bill, because you are convinced that the Constitution of 
the United States has abolished the Mexican Constitution & laws, 
& that you can take your slaves to the territories & hold them 
there beyond human control, until State Governments shall be 
formed. 

Well, the Bill becomes a law, and what then? Southern 
emigrants take their Slaves to the territories, & there they are 
at once met by emigrants from the North who conscientiously 
believe these Slaves to be free. They encourage them to leave 
the service of their masters, & there is no law in existence, what- 
ever the right may be, (& the territorial Legislature is prohibited 
from passing such a law) to retain them in service until the 
decision of the Supreme Court shall be known. 

Under such circumstances, what will most probably be the 
result? The controversy which has hitherto agitated the Coun- 
try will for a season be transferred to the territories, to be 
brought back again amongst us from thence, with quite as bitter 
acrimony as exists at present. 

It strikes me, therefore, with more convincing force than 
it has ever done, that in this state of hostile opinions between 
the North & the South, the division of the territories by the 
Missouri Texas Compromise line is by far the best mode of 
finally settling the question. 

You may ask, do I expect the Missouri Compromise to 
succeed? I fear not. If the South had, with any degree of 
unanimity, sustained it from the beginning, it would have suc- 
ceeded as easily as the non-intervention policy. After, however, 
the Democracy, both North & South, throughout the late Presi- 
dential campaign, have had this policy inscribed upon their ban- 
ners, it is probably too late for them to change their position in 
front of our watchful & skilful foe. If the time should arrive 



1850] TO MR. FOOTE 387 

when this shall be demonstrated, my position may then be differ- 
ent. As a retired politician, who may never be, & most probably 
will never be, again in public life, I desire, at least for the present, 
to take no part between political friends on the territorial ques- 
tion, always exerting my best efforts against the common enemy 
& their combined forces of abolitionists, Whig free soilers, & free 
soilers proper. 

Again : without reference to the Slavei-y question, I confess 
I am in favor of building up & consolidating one grand Republic 
of confederated States extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific. 
Nay more, I had even looked forward to the time when our 
limits would be peacefully extended over all North America, until 
your recent Nicaragua Treaty rendered this impossible without 
a war wath Great Britain. With these aspirations, I firmly 
believe that the best means of preserving California permanently 
to the Union is to create rival interests there by the formation 
of two States, which shall each feel its dependence upon the 
Federal Government, the one having its principal port at San 
Francisco & the other at San Diego. I very much fear that a 
single State on the Pacific embracing a sea coast of as many 
degrees of latitude on that ocean as belongs on the Atlantic to 
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jer- 
sey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, & North Carolina, with all its 
immense mineral, commercial, &, I believe, agricultural advan- 
tages, would soon begin to think seriously of independence. The 
Senate probably do not attach so much importance as I do to our 
ultramontane possessions. If they had done so, they would, 
whilst surrendering to Great Britain by the late Nicaragua Treaty 
the power to arrest our progress on this Continent with the 
virtual control of all Central America, & whilst acknowledging 
her right to the protectorate of the Mosquitos, have insisted upon 
securing a free communication by the Canal from our Atlantic 
to our Pacific ports, & so vice versa, in zvar as zvell as in peace. 

If you will weigh all these circumstances, I am convinced 
that, as my good friend, you would not ask me at the present 
moment, contrary to my own judgment, to abandon the platform 
of the Missouri Compromise on which I have so long stood, & 
thus give offence to many individuals who doubtless expect me 
to remain there whilst there is any hope of success. 

I have thus written more freely to you upon the subject 
than I have ever done to any human being, because I value your 
friendship so highly that I w^ould not have you believe I could 



388 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1850 

deny any request of yours, except from an imperative sense of 
duty. 

From your friend very respectfully 

James Buchanan. 
Hon: Henry S. Foote. 



TO MISS LANE/ 

Bedford Springs 4 August 1850. 
My dear Harriet/ 

I received your letter yesterday & was rejoiced to hear from 
home, especially of Mr. Baer's visit to Miss Hetty, which, I 
know, must have rendered her very happy. I hope he will do 
better than Mr. Evans or Mr. Hiester. 

I have found Bedford pleasant, as I always do ; but we have 
had very few of the old set, & the new are not equal to them. 
I will not tell you how many inquiries have been made for you, 
lest this might make you vainer than you are, which to say the 
least is unnecessar}^ 

I intend, God w^illing, to leave here to-morrow morning. 
Six of us have taken an Extra to Chambersburg ; — Mr. Witmer 
& his daughter, Mrs. & Miss Bridges, Mr. Reigart, & myself. I 
shall leave them at Eondon, as I purpose & hope to be at home 
on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday next, I know not which. ^ 

Remember me affectionately to Mrs. Dunham & Miss Hetty, 
& believe me to be yours, " with the highest consideration," 

James Buchanan. 
Miss Harriet Lane. 



TO MISS LANE.' 

Wheatland 12th October 1850. 
My dear Harriet/ 

Mr. M'llvain of Philadelphia, with whom I had contracted 
to put up a furnace & kitchen range this week, has disappointed 



^Buchanan Papers, private collection; Curtis's Buchanan, II. 16. 
^A paragraph relating to a personal matter is here omitted. 
'Buchanan Papers, private collection. Extracts printed in Curtis's 
Buchanan, II. 16. 



1850] TO MISS LANE 389 

me; & I cannot leave home until this work shall be finished. 
He writes me that he will certainly commence on Monday morn- 
ing-; & if so, I hope to be in New York the beginning of the 
week after, say about the 22d Instant. 

You ask what about your staying at Mrs. Bancroft's ? With 
this I should be very much pleased ; but it seems from your letter 
that she did not ask you to do so. She wished " to see a great 
deal " of you when you came to New York, implying that you 
were not to stay with her all the time. If she has since given 
you an invitation, accept it. 

Could I have anticipated that you would not pass some time 
at Governor Marcy's, I should have arranged this matter by 
writing to Mr. Bancroft. It is now too late. 

I may probably pass a few days at the Astor House in New 
York; but I may have to see so many politicians, that I should 
have but little time to devote to you. I desire very much to 
reach New York before the departure of Mr. Slidell, which will 
be on the 26th Instant. 

I shall be very glad if Clem. Pleasonton should accompany 
you home; though the leaves are beginning to change color & 
to fall. 

I have received a letter from Mary Dunham. From it, I 
doubt w^hether she will leave Jessie until the spring. Without 
her, she does not perceive how Jessie can get along at house- 
keeping this winter. Mary is much pleased with Washington. 
Many of the ladies have called upon her, — a contrast with Lan- 
caster. Ere this I presume she has heard from her husband, as 
I forwarded a letter to her postmarked at Stockton, California. 

Professor Muhlenberg, having been appointed a professor in 
Pennsylvania College (Gettysburg), has ceased to teach school, 
& James Henry left for Princeton on Thursday last. 

We have no local news, at least I know of none that would 
interest you. I think we shall have very agreeable neighbours 
in the Gonders at Abbeville. Please to remember me very 
kindly to Mr. & Mrs. Robinson & give my love to Rose. 
Yours affectionately 

James Buchanan. 
Miss Harriet Lane. 



390 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1850 

LETTER TO A PUBLIC MEETING/ 

Wheatland, near Lancaster, Nov. 19, 1850. 

Gentlemen — I have been honored by the receipt of your 
very kind invitation, " in behalf of the friends of the Constitu- 
tion and the Union, without distinction of party, resident in the 
City and County of Philadelphia," to attend a public meeting, to 
be held on the 21st instant, at the Chinese Museum. I regret 
that engagements, which I need not specify, will deprive me of 
the pleasure and the privilege of uniting with the great, patriotic, 
and enlightened community of your City and County in mani- 
festing their attachment for the Constitution and the Union, in 
the present alarming crisis in our public affairs. 

On a recent occasion, at the celebration of the opening of 
the Eastern portion of our great Central Rail Road from Phila- 
delphia to Pittsburg, I said that the cordial support of that 
magnificent improvement was a platform on which all Penn- 
sylvanians, of every political denomination, could stand together 
in harmony. The sentiment elicited an enthusiastic response 
from all present, whether Democrats or Whigs. I now say that 
the platform of our blessed Union is strong enough and broad 
enough to sustain all true hearted Americans. It is an elevated, 
a glorious platform, on which the down-trodden nations of the 
earth gaze with hope and desire, w^th admiration and astonish- 
ment. Our Union is the Star in the West, whose genial and 
steadily increasing influence will, at last, should we remain a 
united people, dispel the gloom of despotism from the ancient 
nations of the world. Its moral power will prove to be more 
potent than millions of armed mercenaries. And shall this 
glorious star set in darkness before it has accomplished half its 
mission? Heaven forbid! Let us all exclaim, with the heroic 
Jackson, " The Union must and shall be preserved." 

And what a Union this has been! The history of the 
human race presents no parallel to it. The bit of striped bunting 
which was to be swiftly swept from the ocean, by the British 
Navy, according to the prediction of a British statesman previous 
to the war of 18 12. is now displayed in every sea and in every 
port of the habitable globe. Our glorious stars and stripes, the 



^ Reprinted from the North American and Gazette, Supplement, Phila- 
delphia, Friday morning, Nov, 22, 1850, now in the rooms of the Historical 
Society of Pennsylvania. Extracts printed in Curtis's Buchanan, II. 11-15; 
Horton's Buchanan, 375-382. 



1850] LETTER TO A PUBLIC MEETING 391 

flag of our country, now protects Americans in every clime. ** I 
am a Roman citizen ! " was once the proud exclamation which 
everywhere shielded an ancient Roman from insult and injustice. 
" I am an American citizen ! " is now an exclamation of almost 
equal potency, throughout the civilized world. This is a tribute 
due to the power and the resources of these thirty-one United 
States. In a just cause we may defy the world in arms. We 
have lately presented a spectacle which has astonished even the 
greatest Captain of the age. At the call of their country an 
irresistible host of armed men, and men, too, skilled in the use 
of arms, sprang up like the soldiers of Cadmus, from the moun- 
tains and valleys of our great confederacy. The struggle among 
them was not who should remain at home, but who should enjoy 
the privilege of braving the dangers and the privations of a 
foreign war in defence of their country's rights. Heaven forbid 
that the question of slavery should ever prove to be the stone 
thrown into their midst by Cadmus, to make them turn their 
arms against each other, and perish in mutual conflict! 

Whilst our power as a united people secures us against the 
injustice and assaults of foreign enemies, what has been our 
condition at home ? Here every citizen stands erect in the proud 
proportions bestowed upon him by his Maker, and feels himself 
equal to his fellow man. He is protected by a government of 
just laws in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property. He 
sits down under his own vine and his own fig tree, and there 
is none to make him afraid. A vast confederacy, composed of 
thirty-one sovereign and independent States, is open before him, 
in which he feels himself to be everywhere at home, and may 
anywhere throughout its extended limits seek his own prosperity 
and happiness in his own way. The most perfect freedom of 
intercourse prevails among all the States. 

Here the blessings of free trade have been realized under 
the Constitution of the United States, and by the consent of all, 
to a greater extent than the world has ever witnessed. Our 
domestic tonnage and capital employed in this trade exceed, 
beyond all comparison, that employed in our trade with all the 
rest of the world. The mariner of Maine, after braving the 
dangers of the passage around Cape Horn, finds himself at 
home in his own country, when entering the distant port of San 
Francisco, on the other side of the world. 

Heaven seems to have bound these States together by 
adamantine bonds of powerful interest. They are mutually 



392 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1850 

dependent on each other — mutually necessary to each other's 
welfare. The numerous and powerful commonwealths which 
are spread over the valle}^ of the Mississippi must seek the 
markets of the world for their productions, through the mouth 
of that father of rivers. A strong naval power is necessary 
to keep this channel always free in time of war; and an im- 
mense commercial marine is required to carry their productions 
to the markets of the world, and bring back their returns. The 
same remark applies with almost equal force to the cotton 
growing and planting States on the Gulf of Mexico and on the 
Atlantic. Who is to supply this naval power and this com- 
mercial marine? The hardy and enterprising sons of the North, 
whose home has always been on the mountain wave. Neither 
the pursuits nor the habits of the people of the Western and the 
Southern States fit them for such an employment. They are 
naturally the producers, whilst the Northern people are the 
carriers. This establishes a mutual and profitable dependence 
upon each other, which is one of the strongest bonds of our 
Union. 

The common sufferings and common glories of the past, 
the prosperity of the present, and the brilliant hopes of the future, 
must impress every patriotic heart with deep love and devotion 
for the Union. Who that is now a citizen of this vast Republic, 
extending from the St. Lawrence to the Rio Grande, and from 
the Atlantic to the Pacific, does not shudder at the idea of being 
transformed into a citizen of one of its broken, jealous, and 
hostile fragments? What patriot w^ould not rather shed the 
last drop of his blood than see the thirty-one brilliant stars which 
now float proudly upon our country's flag, amid the battle and 
the breeze, rudely torn from the national banner, and scattered 
in confusion over the face of the earth? 

Rest assured that all the patriotic emotions of every true- 
hearted Pennsylvanian, in favor of the Union and the Constitu- 
tion, are shared by the Southern people. What battle-field has 
not been illustrated by their gallant deeds; and when, in our 
history, have they ever shrunk from sacrifices and sufferings in 
the cause of their country? What then means the muttering 
thunder which we hear from the South? The signs of the times 
are truly portentous. Whilst many in the South openly advo- 
cate the cause of secession and disunion, a large majority, as I 
firmly believe, still fondly cling to the Union, awaiting with 
deep anxiety the action of the North on the Compromise lately 



1850] LETTER TO A PUBLIC MEETING 393 

effected in Congress. Should this be disregarded and nullified 
by the citizens of the North, the Southern people may become 
united, and then farewell, a long farewell, to our blessed Union. 
I am no alarmist ; but a brave and wise man looks danger steadily 
in the face. This is the best means of avoiding it. I am deeply 
impressed with the conviction that the North neither sufficiently 
understands nor appreciates the danger. For my own part, I 
have been steadily watching its approach for the last fifteen years. 
During that period I have often sounded the alarm; but my 
feeble warnings have been disregarded. I now solemnly declare, 
as the deliberate conviction of my judgment, that two things 
are necessary to preserve this Union from the most imminent 
danger : — 

1. Agitation in the North on the subject of Southern slavery 
must be rebuked and put down by a strong, energetic, and 
enlightened public opinion. 

2. The Fugitive Slave Law^ must be executed in its letter 
and in its spirit. 

On each of these points I shall offer a few observations. 

Those are greatly mistaken who suppose that the tempest 
which is now raging in the South has been raised solely by the 
acts or omissions of the present Congress. The minds of the 
Southern people have been gradually prepared for this explosion 
by the events of the last fifteen years. Much and devotedly 
as they love the Union, many of them are now taught to believe 
that the peace of their own firesides, and the security of their 
families, cannot be preserved without separation from us. The 
crusade of the abolitionists against their domestic peace and 
security commenced in 1835. General Jackson, in his annual 
message to Congress, in December of that year, speaks of it in 
the following emphatic language : " I must also invite your 
attention to the painful excitement produced in the South by 
attempts to circulate through the mails inflammatory appeals, 
addressed to the passions of the slaves, in prints and various sorts 
of publications, calculated to stimulate them to insurrection, and 
produce all the horrors of a servile war." 

From that period the agitation in the North against South- 
ern slavery has been incessant, by means of the Press, of State 
Legislatures, State and County Conventions, Abolition Lectures, 
and every other method which fanatics and demagogues could 
devise. The time of Congress has been wasted in violent 
harangues on the subject of slavery. Inflammatory appeals have 



394 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1850 

been sent forth from this central point throughout the country, 
the inevitable effect of which has been to create geographical 
parties, so much dreaded by the Father of his Country, and to 
estrange the Northern and Southern divisions of the Union from 
each other. 

Before the Wilmot Proviso was interposed, the abolition of 
slavery in the District of Columbia had been the chief theme of 
agitation. Petitions for this purpose, by thousands, from men, 
women, and children, poured into Congress session after session. 
The rights and the washes of the owners of slaves within the 
District were boldly disregarded. Slavery was denounced as 
a national sin and a national disgrace, which the laws of God 
and the laws of man ought to abolish, cost what it might. It 
mattered not to the fanatics that the abolition of slavery in the 
District would convert it into a citadel in the midst of two 
slaveholding States, from which the abolitionists could securely 
scatter arrows, firebrands, and death all around. It mattered 
not to them that the abolition of slavery in the District would 
be a violation of the spirit of the Constitution and of the implied 
faith pledged to Maryland and Virginia, because the whole world 
knows that those States would never have ceded it to the Union, 
had they imagined it could ever be converted by Congress into a 
place from which their domestic peace and security might be 
assailed by fanatics and abolitionists. Nay, the abolitionists 
went even still further. They agitated for the purpose of abolish- 
ing slavery in the forts, arsenals, and navy yards which the 
Southern States had ceded to the Union, under the Constitution, 
for the protection and defence of the country. 

Thus stood the question when the Wilmot Proviso was inter- 
posed, to add fuel to the flam.e, and to excite the Southern people 
to madness. 

President Polk was anxious to bring the war with Mexico 
to an honorable conclusion with the least possible delay. He 
deemed it highly probable that an appropriation by Congress of 
$2,000,000, to be paid to the Mexican Government immediately 
after the conclusion of peace, might essentially aid him in 
accomplishing this desirable object. He sent a message to this 
effect to Congress in August, 1846; and whilst the bill granting 
the appropriation was pending before the house, Mr. Wilmot 
offered his favorite proviso as an amendment, which was carried 
by a majority of nineteen votes. This amendment, had it even 
been proper in itself, was out of time and out of place; because 



1850] LETTER TO A PUBLIC MEETING 395 

it had not then been ascertained whether we should acquire any 
territory from Mexico; and in point of fact, the Treaty of Peace 
was not concluded until eighteen months thereafter. Besides, 
this Proviso, by defeating the appropriation, was calculated, 
though I cannot believe it was intended, to prolong the war. 

The Wilmot Proviso, until near the termination of the last 
session of Congress, defeated every attempt to form territorial 
governments for our Mexican acquisitions. Had such govern- 
ments been established at the proper time, California would 
have changed her territorial into a State government, and would 
have come into the Union as naturally as a young man enters 
upon his civil rights at the age of twenty-one, producing scarcely 
a ripple upon the surface of public opinion. 

What consequences have resulted from the Proviso? It 
placed the two divisions of the Union in hostile array. The 
people of each, instead of considering the people of the other 
as brethren, began to view each other as deadly enemies. Whilst 
Northern Legislatures were passing resolutions instructing their 
Senators and requesting their Representatives to vote for the 
Wilmot Proviso, and for laws to abolish slavery in the District 
of Columbia, Southern Legislatures and Conventions, prompted 
and sustained by the indignant and united voice of the Southern 
people, were passing resolutions pledging themselves to measures 
of resistance. The spirit of fanaticism was in the ascendant. 
To such a height had it mounted, that a bill introduced into the 
House of Representatives, by Mr. Giddings, during the last ses- 
sion of the last Congress, authorizing the slaves in the District 
of Columbia to vote on the question whether they themselves 
should be freemen, was defeated on the motion of my friend Mr. 
Brodhead, of this State, by the slender majority of only twenty- 
six votes. 

Thus stood the question when the present Congress assem- 
bled. That body at first presented the appearance of a Polish 
diet, divided into hostile parties, rather than that of the Repre- 
sentatives of a great and united people, assembled in the land 
of Washington, Jefferson, and Jackson, to consult and act 
together as brethren in promoting the common good of the 
whole Republic. 

It would be the extreme of dangerous infatuation to suppose 
that the Union was not then in serious danger. Had the Wilmot 
Proviso become a law, or had slavery been abolished in the 
District of Columbia, nothing short of a special interposition of 



396 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1850 

Divine Providence could have prevented the secession of most, 
if not all, of the slaveholding States. 

It was from this great and glorious old Commonwealth, 
rightly denominated the " Keystone of the Arch," that the first 
ray of light emanated to dispel the gloom. She is not conscious 
of her own power. She stands as the talisman [daysman?] 
between the North and the South, and can lay her hand on 
either party, and say, thus far shalt thou go, and no farther. 
The wisdom, moderation, and firmness of her people calculate 
her eminently to act as the just and equitable umpire between 
the extremes. 

It was the vote in our State House of Representatives, refus- 
ing to consider the instructing resolutions in favor of the Wilmot 
Proviso, which first cheered the hearts of every patriot in the 
land. This was speedily followed by a vote of the House of 
Representatives at Washington, nailing the Wilmot Proviso 
itself to the table. And here I ought not to forget the great 
meeting held in Philadelphia on the birthday of the .Father of 
his Country, in favor of the Union, which gave a happy and 
irresistible impulse to public opinion throughout the State, and 
I may add throughout the Union. 

The honor of the South has been saved by the Compromise. 
The Wilmot Proviso is forever dead, and slavery will never be 
abolished in the District of Columbia whilst it continues to exist 
in Maryland. The receding storm in the South still continues 
to dash with violence, but it will gradually subside, should 
agitation cease in the North. All that is necessary for us to do 
is to execute the Fugitive Slave Law, and to let the Southern 
people alone, suffering them to manage their own domestic 
concerns in their own way. A Virginia farmer once asked me, 
if there were two neighbors living together, what would I think 
if one of them should be eternally interfering in the domestic 
concerns of the other? Could they possibly live together in 
peace ? 

Without reference to the harmony and safety of the Union, 
Avhat a blessing would this policy of non-interference be, not 
only to the slaves and the free negroes, but even to the cause 
of constitutional emancipation itself! 

Since the agitation commenced, the slave has been deprived 
of many privileges which he formerly enjoyed, because of the 
stern necessity thus imposed upon the master to provide for his 
personal safety and that of his family. 



1850] LETTER TO A PUBLIC MEETING 397 

The free negro, for the same overriding reason, is threat- 
ened with expulsion from the land of his nativity in the South ; 
and there are strong indications in several of the Northern States 
that they will refuse to afford him an asylum. 

The cause of emancipation itself has greatly suffered by the 
agitation. If left to its constitutional and natural course, laws 
ere this would most probably have existed for the gradual aboli- 
tion of slavery in the States of Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, 
and Missouri. The current of public opinion was running 
strongly in that direction before the abolition excitement com- 
menced, especially in Virginia. There is a measure having di- 
rectly in view the gradual abolition of slavery, offered too by the 
grandson of Thomas Jefferson, [that] came within one vote, 
if my memory serves me, of passing the House of Delegates. 
Throughout Virginia, as well as in the other three States which 
I have mentioned, there was then a powerful, influential, and 
growing party in favor of gradual emancipation, cheered on to 
exertion by the brightest hopes of success. What has now 
become of this party? It is gone. It is numbered with the 
things that have been. The interference of Northern fanatics 
with the institution of slavery in the South has so excited and 
exasperated the people, that there is no man in that region now 
bold enough to utter a sentiment in favor of gradual emancipa- 
tion. The efforts of the abolitionists have long, very long post- 
poned the day of emancipation in these States. Throughout the 
grain growing slave States, powerful causes were in operation 
w^hich must before many years have produced gradual emancipa- 
tion. These have been counteracted by the violence and folly 
of the abolitionists. They have done infinite mischief. They 
have not only brought the Union into imminent peril, but they 
have inflicted the greatest evils both on the slave and on the free 
negro, the avowed objects of their regard. 

Let me then call upon your powerful and influential meeting, 
as they value the union of these States, the greatest political 
blessing ever conferred by a bountiful Providence upon man; 
as they value the well being of the slave and free negro ; as they 
value even the cause of regular and constitutional emancipation, 
to exert all their energies to put down the long continued agita- 
tion in the North against slavery in the South. Is it unreasonable 
that the South should make this demand? Tlie agitation has 
reached such a height that the Southern people feel their personal 
security to be involved. It has filled the minds of the slaves 



398 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1850 

with vague notions of emancipation, and, in the language of 
General Jackson, threatens '' to stimulate them to insurrection 
and produce all the horrors of a servile war." Although any 
such attempt on their part would be easily and speedily sup- 
pressed, yet what horrors might not in the meantime be per- 
petrated! Many a mother now retires to rest at night under 
dreadful apprehensions of what may befall herself and family 
before the morning. Self preservation is the first instinct of 
nature; and, therefore, any state of society in which the sword 
of Damocles is all the time suspended over the heads of the 
people, must, at last, become intolerable. 

To judge correctly of our relative duties towards the people 
of the South, we ought to place ourselves in their position, and 
do unto them as we would they should do unto us under similar 
circumstances. This is the golden rule. It was under its benign 
influence that our Constitution of mutual compromise and con- 
cession was framed, and by the same spirit alone can it be main- 
tained. Do the people of the North act in this Christian spirit, 
whilst stigmatizing their brethren of the South with the harshest 
epithets and imputing to them a high degree of moral guilt, 
because slavery has been entailed upon them by their forefathers ; 
and this, too, with a knowledge that the consequences of these 
assaults must be to place in peril their personal safety and that 
of all they hold most dear on earth ? I repeat that this constant 
agitation must be arrested by the firm determination and resolute 
action of the vast majority of the people of the North, who are 
knowoi to disapprove it, or the sacrifice of our glorious Union 
may and probably will be at last the consequence. 

2. I shall now proceed to present to you some views upon 
the subject of the much misrepresented Fugitive Slave Law. It 
is now evident, from all the signs of the times, that this is des- 
tined to become the principal subject of agitation at the next 
session of Congress, and to take the place of the Wilmot Proviso. 
Its total repeal or its material modification will henceforward be 
the battle cry of the agitators of the North. 

And what is the character of this law? It was passed to 
carry into execution a plain, clear, and mandatory provision of 
the Constitution, requiring that fugitive slaves, who fly from 
service in one State to another, shall be delivered up to their 
masters. This provision is so explicit that he who runs may 
read. No commentary can present it in a stronger light than 
the plain words of the Constitution. It is a well known historical 



1850] LETTER TO A PUBLIC MEETING 399 

fact that without this provision the Constitution itself could never 
have existed. How could this have been otherwise ? Is it pos- 
sible for a moment to believe that the slave States would have 
formed a union with the free States, if under it their slaves by 
simply escaping across the boundary which separates them 
would acquire all the rights of freemen? This would have been 
to offer an irresistible temptation to all the slaves of the South to 
precipitate themselves upon the North. The Federal Constitu- 
tion, therefore, recognizes in the clearest and most emphatic terms 
the property in slaves, and protects this property by prohibiting 
any State into which a slave might escape from discharging him 
from slavery, and by requiring that he shall be delivered up to 
his master. 

But, say the agitators, the Fugitive Slave Law, framed for 
the purpose of carrying into effect an express provision of the 
Constitution, is itself unconstitutional. I shall not stop to argue 
such a point at length, deeming this to be wdiolly unnecessary. 
The law, in every one of its essential provisions, is the very 
same law which was passed in February, 1793, by a Congress, 
many of wdiose members had come fresh from the convention 
which framed the Federal Constitution, and was approved by 
the Father of his Country. If this be so, it may be asked whence 
the necessity of passing the present law? Why not rest upon 
the Act of 1793? This question is easily answered. The Act 
of 1793 had entrusted its own execution not only to the Judges 
of the Circuit and District Courts of the United wStates, but to all 
State magistrates of any county, city, or town corporate. 

The decision of the Supreme Court of the United States 
in the case of Prigg vs. the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania 
deprived these State magistrates of the power of acting under 
the law. What was the consequence? Let us take the State 
of Pennsylvania for an example. There were but three indi- 
viduals left in the w^hole State who could judicially execute the 
provisions of the Act of 1793 — the Circuit Judge and the two 
District Judges. Two of these Judges reside in Philadelphia, 
and one of them at Pittsburg, a distance of more than three 
hundred miles apart. It is manifest, therefore, that the law in 
many, indeed in most cases, could not have been executed for 
want of officers near at hand. It thus became absolutely neces- 
sary for Congress to provide United States officers to take the 
place of the State magistrates who had been superseded. With- 
out this a constitutional right could have existed with no adequate 



400 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1850 

means of enforcing it. The fugitive slave bill was passed 
chiefly to remedy this defect, and to substitute such officers in- 
stead of the State magistrates whose powers had been nullified 
under the decision of the Supreme Court. 

It is worthy of remark that several of our Northern legis- 
latures, availing themselves of the decision of the Supreme Court, 
and under the deep excitement by the agitation of the Wilmot 
Proviso, passed laws imposing obstacles to the execution of the 
provisions of the Constitution for the restoration of fugitive 
slaves. I am sorry, very sorry, to state that Pennsylvania is 
among the number. By our Act of 3rd March, 1847, ^^^^ 
the use of our public jails is denied for the safe custody of the 
fugitive; and the jailer who shall offend against this provision 
is deprived of his office, and is punishable with a heavy fine and 
a disqualification ever again to hold a similar office! 

The two principal objections urged against the Fugitive 
Slave Law, are, that it will promote kidnapping, and that it does 
not provide a trial by jury for the fugitive in the State to which 
he has escaped. 

The very same reasons may be urged, with equal force, 
against the Act of 1793; and yet it existed for more than half a 
century without encountering any such objections. 

In regard to kidnapping: — the fears of the agitators are 
altogether groundless. The law requires that the fugitive shall 
be taken before the judge or commissioner. The master must 
there prove to the satisfaction of the magistrate the identity of 
the fugitive, that he is the master's property and has escaped 
from his service. Now I ask, would a kidnapper ever under- 
take such a task? Would he suborn witnesses to commit perjury 
and expose himself to detection before the judge or commis- 
sioner, and in presence of the argus eyes of a non-slaveholding 
community, whose feelings will always be in favor of the slave? 
No, never. The kidnapper seizes his victim in the silence of the 
night, or in a remote and obscure place, and hurries him away. 
He does not expose himself to the public gaze. He will never 
bring the unfortunate object of his rapacity before a commis- 
sioner or a judge. Indeed, I have no recollection of having 
heard or read of a case in which a free man was kidnapped 
under the forms of law, during the whole period of more than 
half a century, since the Act of 1 793 was passed. 

But it is objected to the law that the fugitive is not allowed 
a trial by jury in the State to which he has escaped. So it has 



1850] LETTER TO A PUBLIC MEETING 401 

always been under the Act of 1793, and so it is under the present 
law. A fugitive from labor is placed upon the very same foot- 
ing, under the Constitution, with a fugitive from justice. Does 
a man charged with the commission of a crime in Maryland fly 
into Pennsylvania, he is delivered up, upon proper evidence, to 
the authorities of the State from which he fled, there to stand 
his trial. He has no right to demand a trial by jury in Penn- 
sylvania. Nay, more ; under our extradition treaties with foreign 
powers, does a man charged with a crime committed in England 
or France fly to the United States, he is delivered up to the 
authorities of the country from which he fled, without a trial 
by jury in this country. Precisely the same is the case in regard 
to a fugitive from labor. Upon satisfactory proof, he is de- 
livered up without a trial by jury. In the Constitution he is 
placed upon the very same footing with fugitives from justice 
from other States; and by treaty, he is placed upon the very 
same footing with fugitives from justice from foreign countries. 
Surely the fugitive slave is not entitled to superior privileges 
over the free white man. When he returns to the State from 
which he has escaped, he is there entitled to a trial by jury, for 
the purpose of deciding whether he is a freeman. I believe every 
slave State has made provision by law for such a trial without 
expense, upon the petition of the slave; and we have heard it 
announced from the highest authority in the Senate of the 
United States, that such trials are always conducted in mercy, 
and with a rigid regard to the rights of the slave. 

Why should an Act of Congress cast such a reflection upon 
the judicial tribunals of a sister State as to say they shall not 
be trusted with the trial of the question whether an individual is 
entitled to his freedom under the laws of the State from which 
he has fled ? 

But to allow^ the fugitive slave a trial by jury in the State 
where he is found, would, in many instances, completely nullify 
the provisions of the Constitution. There are many, I fear very 
many, in the Northern States who place their consciences above 
the Constitution of their country, and who would, as jurors, 
rescue a fugitive slave from servitude against the clearest testi- 
mony, thinking, at the same time, they were doing God's service. 
The excited condition of public feeling in many portions of the 
North would disqualify honest and respectable men from acting 
as impartial jurors on such a question. Besides, the delay, the 
trouble, and the expense of a jury trial at such a distance from 
home would, in most cases, prevent the master from pursuing his 

Vol. VIII— 26 



402 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1850 

fugitive slave. He would know that should he fail to obtain a 
verdict, this would be his ruin. He would then be persecuted 
with actions of slander, of false imprisonment, and every kind 
of prosecution which ingenuity could devise. 

The defeat of the Wilmot Proviso and the passage of the 
Fugitive Slave Law are all that the South have obtained by the 
Compromise. They asked for the Missouri Compromise, which 
it is known that for one I was always willing to concede, believ- 
ing this would be the most just, equitable, and satisfactory 
arrangement of the Territorial question between the North and 
the South. But that has passed away. California has been 
admitted as a State into the Union, with a positive prohibition 
of slavery in her Constitution; and whether the Mexican law 
abolishing slavery be in force or not in the remainder of our 
Territorial acquisitions, does any man believe that slavery will 
ever prevail among the Mormons in Utah, or among the inhabi- 
tants of the snow-clad hills and mountain valleys of New 
Mexico? Besides, the slave trade has been abolished in the 
District of Columbia. What then of the Compromise prac- 
tically remains for the South but this Fugitive Slave Law, passed 
to carry out a clear constitutional provision? It is the only 
compensation which they have received for what they believe to 
be the great injuries they have sustained. Will they then pa- 
tiently submit to have this law repealed, essentially modified, or 
nullified? Before its passage, the Constitution had become, in 
regard to fugitive slaves, almost a dead letter. 

It is a notorious fact, that all along the border which 
separates the free from the slave States, every facility was 
afiforded for the escape of slaves from their masters. If they 
could pass the line, their safety was almost certain. They were 
scarcely ever, in the language of the Constitution, " delivered up 
on the claim of the party to which such service or labor may be 
due." In many instances, the master or his agent who pursued 
them was insulted, assaulted, beaten, and imprisoned; and few 
men could be found bold enough to incur the hazard of such a 
dangerous undertaking. In this manner the Southern people 
were annually deprived of their property, guaranteed to them by 
the Constitution, to the amount of hvmdreds of thousands of 
dollars. The constitution was nullified, and this law was passed 
for the protection of their constitutional rights! Will they 
tamely surrender it? Let the voice which speaks in tones of 
thunder from the united South answer this question. They will 
at last, I trust and believe, submit to all the provisions of the 



1850] LETTER TO A PUBLIC MEETING 403 

compromise, provided the Fugitive Slave Law be faithfully 
executed in the North; but they will go no further. All the 
resolutions even of the Union meetings in the South speak this 
language. Future aggressions must cease, or the Union will 
be in imminent danger. 

Let us then resolve to put dow-n agitation at the North on 
the slave question, by the force of enlightened public opinion, and 
faithfully execute the provisions of the Fugitive Slave Law. 
Should this be done, it will eventually extinguish those geo- 
graphical parties — so dangerous to the Union and so much 
dreaded by the Father of his Country — which have sprung into 
existence; it will ameliorate the condition of the slaves, by 
enabling their masters to remove the restrictions imposed upon 
them in self defence, since the commencement of the present 
troubles, and wall restore the natural and constitutional progress 
of emancipation which has, in several States, been arrested by 
the violence of abolitionists. 

The Union cannot long endure, if it be bound together only 
by paper bonds. It can be firmly cemented alone by the affec- 
tions of the people of the different States for each other. Would 
to Heaven that the spirit of mutual forbearance and brotherly 
love which presided at its birth could once more be restored to 
bless the land ! Upon opening a volume a few days since, my 
eyes caught a Resolution of a Convention of the Counties of 
Maryland, assembled at Annapolis, in June, 1774, in consequence 
of the passage by the British Parliament of the Boston Port 
Bill, w^hich provided for opening a subscription '' in the several 
Counties of the Province, for an immediate collection for the 
relief of the distressed inhabitants of Boston, now cruelly de- 
prived of the means of procuring subsistence for themselves and 
families by the operation of the said act for blocking up their 
harbor." Would that the spirit of fraternal affection which dic- 
tated this noble resolution, and which actuated all the conduct 
of our revolutionary fathers, might return to bless and to re- 
animate the bosoms of their descendants! This would render 
our Union indissoluble. It would be the living soul infusing 
itself into the Constitution and inspiring it with irresistible 
energy. 

I am not one of those who can ever consent to calculate 
the value of the Union. Its benefits and its blessings are inesti- 
mable. God forbid that fanaticism should ever apply a torch to 
this, the grandest and most glorious temple which has ever been 
erected to political freedom on the face of the earth! Whilst 



404 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1850 

the friends of human liberty throughout the world would forever 
deplore the irreparable loss of our example to the nations, this 
catastrophe would be the prolific source of evils to all the States — 
North, South, East, and West — from the enumeration of which 
my mind recoils with horror. 

Would any or all of the injuries which the South have 
suffered, or which they suppose they have suffered, from the 
agitation at the North, and from the Compromise, justify a resort 
to the last dread extremity of dissolving the Union? I believe 
not; and after the sober second thought, the patriotic people of 
the South will, I have no doubt, by a large majority, arrive at 
the same conclusion. For such causes they will never forfeit 
all the innumerable blessings of the Union, and subject the coun- 
try and the lovers of rational freedom throughout the w,orld to 
the most astounding political calamity Avhich has ever befallen 
the human race. 

It is not every wrong — nay, it is not every grievous wrong — 
which can justify, or even palliate, such a fearful alternative. In 
this age, and in this country, there is an incessant flux and reflux 
of public opinion. Subjects which but a few years ago excited 
the public mind to madness have passed away and are almost 
forgotten. To employ the eloquent language of Mr. Burke, they 
are '' volcanoes burnt out ; — and on the lava and ashes and 
squalid scorias of old eruptions, grow the peaceful olive, the 
cheering vine, and the sustaining corn." 

The agitation at the North on the subject of domestic 
slavery in the South, like every thing human, will have its day. 
We have already reached, and, I trust, passed the dangerous 
crisis. Should this prove to be the case, the tempest which has 
been raging will purify the political atmosphere, and impart new 
and healthful life and vigor to the body politic. 

But if, in the midst of such a temporary excitement, the 
Union should be dissolved, the mischief will then be irreparable. 
" Nations unborn, and ages yet behind," will curse the rashness 
of the deed. Should " the silver cord be loosed, and the golden 
bowl be broken at the fountain," human power will never be able 
to re-unite the scattered fragments. If the Almighty Ruler 
of the Universe has, in his Providence, destined the dissolution of 
the Union, as a punishment for the sins of the Nation, I hope, 
before that day, I may be gathered to my fathers, and never 
witness the sad catastrophe. 

Yours, very respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 



1851] AN ADDRESS 405 

1851. 
ADDRESS, JANUARY 11, 1851, 

AT PHILADELPHIA.! 

After Governor Johnston had concluded, Morton Mc- 
Michael came forward, and said that he had been instructed by 
the Committee of Arrangements to propose the health of an 
eminent Pennsylvanian who was then present — one who had 
represented his State in the National legislative councils, and 
had occupied a chief place in the administration of the National 
Government, and in regard to whom, however political differ- 
ences might exist, all agreed that his high talents, his unsullied 
integrity, and his distinguished public services had justly placed 
him in the foremost rank, not only of Pennsylvanians, but of all 
Americans. He therefore gave 

The health of the Hon. James Buchanan. 

When Mr. Buchanan rose to reply, there was a whirlwind 
of cheers and applause. In the midst of it the band struck up 
a favorite and complimentary air at the end of which the cheering 
was renewed, and several minutes elapsed before he could be 
heard. 

Mr. Buchanan, after making his acknowledgments to the 
company for the kind manner in w4iich he had been received, 
proceeded to speak as follows: — 

What a spectacle does this meeting present! It must be a 
source of pride and gratification to every true-hearted Pennsyl- 
vanian. Here are assembled the executive and legislative au- 
thorities of the commonwealth, several members from the State 
to the present Congress, as well as those elected to the next, and 
the Board of Canal Commissioners, enjoying the magnificent 
hospitality of the city and the incorporated districts adjacent — 
all of which, in fact, constitute but one great city of Philadelphia. 

What important event in the history of Philadelphia is this 
meeting intended to celebrate? Not a victory achieved by our 
arms over a foreign foe. Not the advent amongst us of a great 
military captain fresh from the bloody fields of his glory ; but the 
arrival here of a peaceful commercial steamer from the other side 
of the Atlantic. This welcome stranger is destined, as we ?'i\ 



^ Curtis's Buchanan, II. 28. This address was made at a festival in Phila- 
delphia on the nth of January 1851, on the establishment of a line of steam- 
ships between that city and Liverpool. 



406 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1851 

trust, to be the harbinger of a rapidly increasing foreign trade 
between our own city and the great commercial city of Liver- 
pool. All hail to Captain Matthews and his gallant crew ! Peace, 
as well as war, has its triumphs; and these, although they may 
not be so brilliant, are far more enduring and useful to mankind. 

The establishment of a regular line of steamers between 
these two ports will prove of vast importance both to the city 
of Philadelphia and the State at large. And here, let me ob- 
serve, that the interests of the city and the State are identical — 
inseparable. Like man and wife, when a well-assorted couple, 
they are mutually dependent. The welfare and prosperity of 
the one are the welfare and prosperity of the other. ''Those 
whom Heaven has joined together, let not man put asunder." 
If any jealousies, founded or unfounded, have heretofore existed 
between them, let them be banished from this day forward and 
forever. Let them be in the " deep bosom of the ocean buried." 

The great Central Railroad will furnish the means of fre- 
quent and rapid intercommunication between the city and the 
State. Li the course of another year, Philadelphia will be 
brought within twelve or fourteen hours of our Great Iron City 
of the West — a city of as much energy and enterprise for the 
number of inhabitants, as any on the face of the earth; and, I 
might add, of as warm and generous hospitality. I invite you 
all, in the name of the people of the interior, to visit us oftener 
than you have done heretofore. You shall receive a hearty wel- 
come. Let us become better acquainted, and we shall esteem 
each other more. 

But will this great undertaking to extend the foreign com- 
merce of Philadelphia with Europe, by means of regular lines of 
steamers, prove successful? To doubt this is to doubt whether 
the capital, intelligence, and perseverance, which have assured 
signal success to Philadelphia in every other industrial pursuit, 
shall fail when applied to steam navigation on the ocean. But 
after to-night there can be " no such word as fail " in our 
vocabulary. We have put our hand to the plough, and we must 
go ahead. We dare not, because we cannot, look back without 
disgrace ; whilst success in foreign commerce will be the capsheaf 
— the crowning glory of Philadelphia. 

The distance of Philadelphia from the ocean, and the 
consequent length of river navigation, have hitherto constituted 
an obstacle to her success in foreign trade. Thanks to the genius 
of Fulton, this obstacle has been removed, and the noble Dela- 



1851] AN ADDRESS 407 

ware, for every purpose of foreign commerce, is as if it were an 
arm of the sea. We learn from the highest authority, that of 
the pioneer who was an officer in one of the first steamers which 
ever crossed the Atlantic, and who has successfully completed 
his ninety-ninth voyage, that the difference in time from Liver- 
pool between New York and Philadelphia is only about twenty 
hours. This is comparatively of no importance, and cannot have 
the slightest effect on the success of the enterprise. 

Fulton was a native citizen of Pennsylvania. He was born 
in the county where I reside. And shall not the metropolis of 
the native State of that extraordinary man who, first of the 
human race, successfully applied steam power to navigation, 
enjoy the benefits of this momentous discovery which has 
changed the whole face of the civilized world? Philadelphia, in 
her future career, will gloriously answer this question. 

Philadelphia enjoys many advantages for the successful pur- 
suit of foreign commerce. Her population now exceeds 400,000 ; 
and it is a population of which we may be justly proud. It is 
of no mushroom growth; but has advanced steadily onward. 
Her immense capital is the result of long years of successful 
industry and enterprise. Strength and durability characterize 
all her undertakings. She has already achieved distinguished 
success in manufactures, in the mechanic arts, in domestic com- 
merce, and in every other industrial pursuit, and in the natural 
progress of events, she has now determined to devote her energies 
to foreign commerce. 

And where is there a city in the world, whose ship-yards 
produce finer vessels? Whether for beauty of model, rapidity 
of sailing, or durability, Philadelphia built vessels have long 
enjoyed the highest character. Long as I have been in the public 
councils, I have never known a vessel of war built in this city, 
not fully equal to any of her class afloat on the waters of the 
world. A few weeks since I had the pleasure of examining the 
steamer Susquehanna, and I venture to say, that a nobler vessel 
can nowhere be found. She will bear the stars and stripes tri- 
umphantly amid the battle and the breeze. May we not hope 
that Philadelphia steamers will, ere long, be found bearing her 
trade and her name on every sea, and into every great commer- 
cial port on the face of this earth? 

The vast resources of the State which will be poured into 
the lap of Philadelphia, will furnish the materials of an extensive 
foreign commerce. And here, in the presence of this domestic 



408 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1851 

family Pennsylvania circle, may we not indulge in a little self- 
gratulation, and may we not be pardoned, if nobody else will 
praise us, for praising ourselves? We have every reason to be 
proud of our State; and perhaps we ought to cherish a little more 
State pride than we possess. This, when not carried to excess, 
when it scorns to depreciate a rival, is a noble and useful principle 
of action. It is the parent of generous emulation in the pursuit 
of all that is excellent, all that is calculated to adorn and bless 
mankind. It enkindles the desire in us to stand as high as the 
highest among our sister States, in the councils of our country, 
in the pursuit of agriculture and manufactures and every useful 
art. This honorable feeling of State pride, particularly when 
the Pennsylvanian is abroad, out of his native land, will make 
his heart swell with exultation, if he finds that Philadelphia has 
become a great commercial city, her flag waving over every sea, 
her steamers to be seen in every port — an elevated position in 
which Philadelphia, if she but wills it, can undoubtedly be placed. 

The great and good founder of our State, whose precept 
and whose practice was " peace on earth, and good will to man," 
immediately after he had obtained the royal charter, in the spirit 
of prophetic enthusiasm declared, " God will bless, and make it 
the .seed of a nation. I shall have a tender care of the govern- 
ment that it be well laid at first." 

How gloriously this prediction has been verified! God has 
blessed it, and the seed which the founder sowed has borne the 
richest fruit. We are indeed a nation, confederated with thirty 
other sovereign nations or States by the most sacred political 
instrument in the annals of mankind, called the Constitution of 
the United States. Besides, we are truly the keystone of this 
vast confederacy, and our character and position eminently 
qualify us to act as a mediator between opposing extremes. 
Placed in the centre, between the North and the South, with a 
population distinguished for patriotism and steady good sense, 
and a devoted love to the Union, we stand as the daysman, 
between the extremes, and can declare with the voice of power 
to both, hitherto shalt thou go, and no further. May this Union 
endure forever, the source of innumerable blessings to those who 
live under its beneficent sway, and the star of hope to millions of 
down-trodden men throughout the world ! 

Bigotry has never sacrificed its victims at the shrine of 
intolerance in this our favored State. When they were burning 
witches in Massachusetts, honestly believing at the time they 



1851] AN ADDRESS 409 

were doing God's service, William Penn, in 1684, presided at the 
trial of a witch. Under his direction, the verdict was : " The 
prisoner is guilty of the common fame of being a witch; but not 
guilty as she stands indicted." And " in Penn's domain, from 
that day to this," says the gifted historian, '' neither demon nor 
hag ever rode through the air on goat or broomstick." 

From the first settlement of the province until the present 
moment, the freedom of conscience established by the founder 
has been perfect. Religion has always been a question exclu- 
sively between man and his Creator, and every human being has 
been free to worship his Maker according to the dictates of his 
own conscience. 

Bigotry, madly assuming to itself an attribute belonging to 
the Almighty, has never attempted to punish any one of his 
creatures for not adapting his belief to its own standard of faith. 
We have great cause to be proud of the early history of Penn- 
sylvania. 

Pennsylvania, more than any other State of the Union, has 
been settled by emigrants from all the European nations. Our 
population now exceeds two millions and a quarter ; but we can- 
not say that it is composed of the pure Anglo-Saxon race. The 
English, the Germans, the Scotch Irish, the Irish, the Welsh, the 
French, and emigrants from every other European country have 
all intermingled upon our happy soil. We are truly a mixed 
race. And is not this a cause for self-gratulation? Providence, 
as if to designate his will that families and nations should culti- 
vate extended intercourse with each other, has decreed that 
intermarriage in the same family shall eventually produce a 
miserable and puny race, both in body and in mind ; whilst inter- 
marriages among entire strangers have been signally blessed. 
May it then not be probable that the intermixture of the natives 
of the different nations is calculated to produce a race superior 
to any one of the elements of which it is composed ? Let us hope 
that we possess the good qualities of all, without a large share of 
the evil qualities of either. Certain it is that in Pennsylvania 
we can boast of a population which for energy, for patient 
industry, and for strict morality, are unsurpassed by the people 
of any other country. 

And what is her condition at present? Heaven has blessed 
us with a climate which, notwithstanding its variations, is equal 
to almost any other on the face of the earth, and a soil capable of 
furnishing all the agricultural products of the temperate zone. 



410 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1851 

And how have we improved these advantages? In agriculture 
we have excelled. I have myself been over a good portion of 
the best cultivated parts of the world; but never anyw^here, in 
any country, have I witnessed such evidences of real substantial 
comfort and prosperity, such farm-houses and barns, as are to 
be found in Pennsylvania. It is true we cannot boast of baronial 
castles, and of extensive parks and pleasure grounds, and of all 
the other appendages of wealth and aristocracy which beautify 
and adorn the scenery of other countries. These can only exist 
in countries where the soil is monopolized by wealthy proprietors 
and where the farms are consequently occupied by a dependent 
tenantry. Thank Heaven! in this country, every man of indus- 
try and economy, with the blessings of Providence upon his 
honest labor, can acquire a freehold for himself, and sit under 
his own vine and his own fig tree, and there shall be none to 
make him afraid. 

Then in regard to our mineral wealth. We have vast 
masses of coal and iron scattered with a profuse hand under the 
surface of our soil. These are far more valuable than the 
golden sands and golden ore of Cahfornia. The patient labor 
necessary to extract these treasures from the earth, and bring 
them to market, strengthens the sinews of the laborer, makes 
him self-reliant and dependent upon his own exertions, infuses 
courage into the heart, and produces a race capable of maintain- 
ing their liberties at home and of defending their country against 
any and every foreign foe. Look at your neighboring town of 
Richmond. There three millions of tons of coal are annually 
brought to market, and the domestic tonnage employed for 
sending it abroad exceeds the whole foreign tonnage of the city 
of New York. All these vast productions of our agriculture 
and our mines are the natural aliments of foreign commerce for 
the city of Philadelphia. 

But this is not all. Our Central Railroad will soon be com- 
pleted; and when this is finished, it will furnish the avenue by 
which the productions of the great West will seek a market in 
Philadelphia. It will connect with a chain of numerous other 
railroads, penetrating the vast valley of the Mississippi in dif- 
ferent directions, which- will bring the productions of that ex- 
tended region to seek a market in Philadelphia. 

And with these unexampled materials for foreign com- 
merce, is it possible that the city of Philadelphia will hold back ? 
Will she not employ her capital in a vigorous effort to turn to 



1851] TO MISS LANE 411 

her own advantage all these elements of wealth which Providence 
has placed within her reach? What is the smallest share of 
foreign commerce to which she is legitimately entitled? It is 
at least to import into Philadelphia all the foreign goods neces- 
sary for the supply of Pennsylvania and the far West, which 
seek her markets for their productions. She is bound, by every 
principle of interest and duty, to bring to her own wharves this 
amount of foreign trade, and never as a Pennsylvanian shall I 
rest satisfied until she shall have attained this measure of success. 
Shall she then tamely look on and suffer her great rival city, 
of which every American ought to be proud, to monopolize the 
profit and advantages to which she is justly and fairly entitled? 
Shall New York continue to be the importing city for Phila- 
delphia? Shall she any longer be taunted with the imputation 
that so far as foreign trade is concerned, she is a mere provincial 
and dependent city? She can, if she but energetically wills it, 
change this course of trade so disadvantageous to her character 
and her interests; and the proceedings of this meeting afford 
abundant assurances that from this day forth she is destined to 
enter upon a new and glorious career. She must be prepared 
to encounter and to overcome serious competition. She must 
therefore nerve her arm for the struggle. The struggle is 
worthy of her most determined efforts. 



TO MISS LANE.^ 

Wheatland 17 January 1851. 
My dear Harriet/ 

I have received yours of the 15th & we are all happy to 
learn that you have reached Washington so pleasantly. I hope 
that your visit may prove agreeable ; & that you may return home 
self satisfied with all that may transpire during your absence. 
Keep your eyes about you in the gay scenes through which you 
are destined to pass & take care to do nothing & say nothing of 
which you may have cause to repent. Above all, be on your 
guard against flattery ; & should you receive it, " let it pass into 
one ear gracefully & out at the other." Many a clever girl has 
been spoiled for the useful purposes of life & rendered unhappy 



^Buchanan Papers, private collection; Curtis's Buchanan, II. 17. 



412 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1851 

by a winter's gaiety in Washington. I know, however, that Mrs. 
Pleasonton will take good care of you & prevent you from run- 
ning into any extravagance. Still it is necessary that, with the 
blessing of Providence, you should take care of yourself. 

I attended the festival in Philadelphia, on the occasion of 
the arrival of the steamer " City of Glasgow," but did not see 
Lilly Macalester. Her father thinks of taking her to the 
World's Fair in London. I saw Mrs. Plitt for a moment who 
inquired kindly after you. 

We are moving on here in the old way & I have no news 
of any interest to communicate to you. Eskridge was out here 
last night & said they were all well in town. I met Mrs. Baker 
yesterday on the street with her inseparable companion. She was 
looking very well. 

I have not yet determined whether I shall visit Washington 
during the present session; but it is probable that I may on or 
about the first of February. 

Give my love to Laura & Clem; & remember me, in the 
kindest terms, to Mr. & Mrs. Pleasonton. 

Miss Hetty & James desire their love to you. 
Yours affectionately, 

James Buchanan. 
Miss Harriet Lane. 



TO MISS WATTERSTON.^ 

Wheatland 20 January 1851. 
My dear Miss Watterston, 

Many thanks for your very kind letter. It is pleasant for 
a retired gentleman to take a peep through ''the loop holes "of 
retreat at the great world. Your letter has presented a graphic 
picture of the scenes which it describes, — scenes which I now 
view wath comparative indifference. I am greatly attached to 
Washington and its excellent society; but as for large parties, 
routes, levees, assemblies, &c. &c. I would not give a button 
for them all. I have had enough of all this to satisfy any 
ordinary appetite. But I still love a tete a tete in a corner such 
as I hope to enjoy with Miss W., should I visit Washington; 
and am as fond as ever of agreeable society and friendly social 



^Buchanan MSS., Library of Congress. 



1851] TO MISS WATTERSTON 413 

intercourse. If I can leave home, I shall be with you the latter 
end of this week or the beginning of the next; but it is yet uncer- 
tain whether I must not go to Harrisburg. 

Now about what can I write which would interest you? 
You know that my life here is very monotonous though at the 
same time very agreeable. We proceed in the same " John 
Trot " style as when you were here, without your charming 
society to enliven the dullness of a winter in the Country. I 
have purchased a new sleigh, and anticipated much pleasure 
from sleighing; but we have had no snow. What is worse, our 
ice-house is yet empty; and we begin to fear that it will thus 
remain. We have had a little gaiety in our good old Town of 
Lancaster in which I have participated ; but nothing has occurred 
in our provincial fashionable world which could interest you 
for a single moment. 

In Washington I know they are busy making and unmaking 
Presidents. The hopes of an aspirant are elevated to-day to 
be crushed to-morrow ; and candidates and their friends are busy 
in observing all " the signs of the times." " This is vanity and 
vexation of spirit." Away with it. But is it not a melancholy 
spectacle to witness aged men of three score and ten struggling 
on the political arena for the offices and honors of this world, 
as though it were to be their everlasting abode? But enough 
of this. 

I presume you have seen Harriet. She went to Washing- 
ton with warm anticipations of pleasure. I hope they may be 
realised. 

Please to remember me, in the kindest terms, to your father 
and mother and to Mrs. Holcombe and Mrs. Beale, and believe 
me to be ever your sincere and affectionate friend 

James Buchanan. 
Miss Eliza Watterston. 

[Care of George Watterston.] 



414 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1851 

TO MISS LANE.^ 

Wheatland, near Lancaster 7 April 185 1. 
My dear Harriet/ 

Supposing that you are now in Baltimore, I send you the 
enclosed letter received yesterday. It was inadvertently opened 
by me; but the moment I saw it was addressed to ''My dear 
Harriette " it was closed. It may contain love or treason for 
aught I know. 

Eskridge was here yesterday; but he gave me no news, 
except that Mary & he were at a party at Mr. McElrath's on 
Wednesday evening last. 

The place now begins to look beautiful & we have concerts 
of the birds every morning. Still I fear it will appear dull to 
you after your winter's gaiety. Lewis has gone & we have a 
new coachman in the person of Mr. Francis Quinn who with his 
lady occupy the gardener's house. They have no children. Mr. 
Emanuel C. Reigart will leave here on Saturday next for the 
World's Fair & a trip to the continent. Your ci-devant lover 
Mr. Evans purposes to go likewise; but many persons think he 
will not get off, on account of the expense. Mr. and Mrs. 
Gonder prove to be very agreeable neighbors. They are furnish- 
ing their house & fitting up their grounds with much taste & at 
considerable expense. 

With my kindest regards for Mr. & Mrs. White & the 
young ladies, I remain. 

Yours affectionately, 

James Buchanan. 
Miss Harriet Lane. 



TO THE CENTRAL SOUTHERN RIGHTS ASSOCIA- 
TION OF VIRGINIA.^ 

Wheatland, near Lancaster, April 10, 1851. 
My Dear Sir : — 

I have received your kind letter of the 2d inst., with the 
resolutions adopted by the Central Southern Rights Association 
of Virginia, inviting me to address the Association at such time 
as may suit my convenience, 



^ Buchanan Papers, private collection ; Curtis's Buchanan, II. 18. 
' Curtis's Buchanan, II. 23. 



1851] TO SOUTHERN RIGHTS ASSOCIATION 415 

regard to the best means to be adopted in the present alarming 
crisis, for the maintenance of the Constitution and the Union 
of these States in their original purity." 

I should esteem it both a high honor and a great privilege 
to comply with this request, and therefore regret to say, that 
engagements, which I need not specify, render it impossible for 
me to visit Richmond during the present, or probably the next 
month. 

The Association do me no more than justice, when attribut- 
ing to me a strong desire '' for the maintenance of the Constitu- 
tion, and the Union of the States in their original purity." 

Whilst few men in this country w^ould venture to avow a 
different sentiment, yet the question still remains, by what means 
can this all-important purpose be accomplished ? I feel no hesi- 
tation in answering, by returning to the old Virginia platform 
of State rights, prescribed by the resolutions of 1798, and Mr. 
Madison's report. The powers conferred by the Constitution 
upon the General Government, must be construed strictly, and 
Congress must abstain from the exercise of all doubtful powers. 
But it is said these are mere unmeaning abstractions — and so 
they are, unless honestly carried into practice. Like the Chris- 
tian faith, however, when it is genuine, good results will in- 
evitably flow from a sincere belief in such a strict construction 
of the Constitution. 

Were this old republican principle adopted in practice, we 
should no longer witness unwarrantable and dangerous attempts 
in Congress to interfere with the institution of domestic slavery, 
which belongs exclusively to the States where it exists — there 
would be no, efforts to establish high protective tariffs — the public 
money would not be squandered upon a general system of internal 
improvements — general in name, but particular in its very nature, 
and corrupting in its tendency, both to the Government and to 
the people ; and we w^ould retrench our present extravagant ex- 
penditure, pay our national debt, and return to the practice of a 
wise economy, so essential to public and private prosperity. 
Were I permitted to address your Association, these are the 
counsels I should give, and some of the topics I should discuss, 
as the best means " for the maintenance both of the Constitution 
and the Union of the States, in their original purity," and for the 
perpetuation of our great and glorious confederacy. 

With sentiments of high regard, I remain yours, very 
respectfully, 

James Buchanan. 



416 THE WORKS OF JAMES BUCHANAN [1851 

FROM MR. KIDDER/ 

Conftdential. 

WiLKESBARRE II May 185I. 

Hon. James Buchanan, 

My dear Sir: I have regretted that my time was so limited when I 
called upon you, that I could not say one half I desired to say; but having 
received a letter to-day from my friend Roat, who has recently visited you, 
I am induced to trouble you with a short letter. But having been induced 
from the force of circumstances to become a candidate for the Supreme 
Bench, I feel extremely awkward in writing letters, from the apprehension 
that my motives may be misconstrued. Whether your influence will be cast 
for me I know not, and for my present purpose, it is unnecessary to inquire ; 
but I can say in all sincerity that I have never been your enemy, & I have never 
failed to serve you when an opportunity offered. If I have not been a noisy 
partizan, I have still always spoken of you with respect and kindness. In 
every position in which you have been placed you have not only sustained 
a high character as a statesman, but you have elevated the character of your 
native State. 

Our personal intercourse tho' limited has always been kind. I have 
never had any occasion to complain of you but once, & this was for certain 
expressions made by you adverse to my confirmation when nominated to 
my present Judge-ship. I frankly conveyed to you the fact, as I heard it, & 
you as frankly admitted that you had used the expressions in question, & 
here the matter ended. I can assure you that I have harbored no animosity 
in consequence of it, & I became satisfied that your ear had been abused in 
reference to the circumstances connected with it. 

My plan is & has been to keep the Presidential question out of the 
Reading Convention. It will operate as a firebrand at this time, when per- 
fect union & harmony are so much to be desired.